Top officials from Army and J&K Police on Friday said that “confirmed” intelligence inputs had suggested militants were planning a “big strike” on Amarnath Yatra.
They said following the inputs extensive searches were launched which led to recovery of a US-made sniper rifle and a Pakistan-made anti-personnel mine on route to Amarnath cave shrine.
The General Officer Commanding 15 Corps lieutenant general KJS Dhillon, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh, Inspector General of Police (IGP) SP Pani and Additional Director General of CRPF Zulfikar Hassan addressed a joint press conference at Army’s Srinagar based headquarters here.
“The past three days were hectic as we carried out extensive searches on both Yatra routes – Baltal in Sonmarg and Chandanwari in Pahalgam. During the searches conducted by the Army, Police and CRPF we recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition,” said GoC Dhillon.
He said termed as “major success” the recovery of US-made M-24 sniper rifle and Pakistan-made anti-personnel mine having number of Pakistan’s Ordinance Factory on it.
“A major tragedy was averted. The search operation is still on,” the GoC said.
He however didn’t divulge the details about the location wherefrom the recovery was made, saying since the searches were still on and it won’t be feasible to talk about it further.
“The recoveries were however made on the track leading to the cave shrine,” said the GoC.
He said off late militants have changed their strategy to target the security forces and were using temperature and remote controlled IEDs to target the forces.
“We too are using the latest technologies to thwart militant designs that include jammers to block the IED and pre-initiators to initiate an IED well before militants could trigger it off,” the GoC said.
He said after February 14 Lethpora, Pulwama, the IED attacks by militants have increased. “We saw a failed attempt at Banihal. Then, another one was on June at Arihal, Pulwama, and again on July 26 at Arihal where an IED was defused. And today, at Shopian, IED was used to target the forces,” he said.
The DGP Singh said security forces were ready to face all challenges. “We have been able to eliminate their (militants) IED experts. One of the main militants of JeM Muna Lahori was an IED expert, who was killed recently and another one, Fayaz Panzoo was also killed,” he said.
The IGP Pani said this year 10 “serious attempts” were made by militants to target the forces with IEDs, mostly in Pulwama and other districts of South Kashmir.
“Militants who were primarily involved in making and planting IEDs including Muna Lahori of Jaish and Kamran and Usman have already been killed. Five modules involved in using IEDs against security forces were busted and several persons arrested,” he said.
The IGP revealed that during investigations it was found that explosive material was being stolen for making IEDs.