Three labourers dead in mysterious terror attack on GREF camp in Jourian

Three labourers dead in mysterious terror attack on GREF camp in Jourian
TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/10/2017 1:23:24 AM

DEEPAK KHAJURIA

JAMMU: In first major terror strike in the new year, a group of two to three heavily armed militants attacked a General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) camp at Battal area near Akhnoor in Jammu district killing three persons. After late night attack the militants fled from the area.
The GREF is the parent cadre force of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) that builds and maintains border roads in the country. GREF-the execution force, under the Ministry of Defence –is headed in Jammu by Chief Engineer PK Singh, who was not available for a comment.
Sources said at around 1:05 AM militants attacked 361/RMP Det of GREF located about 2.5 km away from the Line of Control (LoC) in the hinterland of forward area of Battal in tehsil Khour in which three hired civilian labourers of GREF were killed and one seriously injured.
The deceased have been identified as Salman Khan son of Mujibur Rehman of Madanta, district Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh, Romesh Topnu son of Sahil Topnu of Karmal, district Gomala in Jharkhand and Irshad Alam son of Mohammad Abdul Ghafaar of Baharpur district Pratapgarh of UP. The injured has been identified as Abdul Aziz son of Sajaad Ali of Manehu, district of Pratapgarh in UP.
The assailants, sources said, not only fired on the labourers, when they were in deep sleep, but also burnt their bed, bed sheets, mattresses, documents and all other material present in the barrack and also took their mobile phone along with them, before splintering highly inflammable chemical on a truck and a tanker parked inside the camp.
Sources in the security establishment suspect this an operation of Pakistan’s notorious Border Action Team (BAT).
“The modus-operandi in this operation has shown the signs of BAT operation, in which the group of terrorists come and move back after doing their assigned task,” said sources and added that it might be an attempt to hit construction of roads on border.
IGP Jammu zone, Danesh Rana said in the evening, “The search operation is on and nothing has been come out till now.” He however, also not denied that it might be a BAT operation. He added that some recoveries have been made and are with the army and will be disclosed once the operation will be over.
The PRO Defence, Jammu, Lt Col Manish Mehta told the media that a massive search operation has been launched by the army. He however agreed that it might be an attempt to affect the GREF work, but cannot say as of now.
Official sources also informed that they also damaged two standing vehicles one Tanker and one Tipper with an inflammable chemical and bullets. At the time of attack about 18/20 labourers were sleeping inside the camp, but in the different barracks, first they hurled the grenades and then fired the bullets they also abused and used the filthy language against the inmates, the GREF labourers, who survived the attack informed.
After the attack, the terrorists escaped with the mobile phones of the deceased and thought that all the inmates were killed, as the light remained off in the area at that time confused them. Later, the DET incharge, who survived the attack called his officials and then the army troops from nearby army camp reached the spot and also cordoned the area and also called local police.
Ram Lal, a local resident and the supplier of labourers to the GREF told The News Now, “I was there in the camp yesterday and left in the evening. There was not a single weapon present in the camp to counter terrorists and even the guard on night duty was helpless. I reached the spot in the morning and saw the tragic scene where bed, bed sheets, documents and even suitcases of labourers were burnt. Two live grenades, two bags with some eatables, empty bottles of chemical were also found from the spot.” Another local, Yashpal, a government teacher at Battal School also said that the light was off in the area last night, when they heard gun shots. They thought it was ceasefire violation, but only one sided firing was heard and then they were terrorized that it was an attack. “As there is no mobile network in the area, so not easy to call police or army at that point of time,” added Yashpal.
A joint search operation in the area was begun in the morning on to trace the militants who may have infiltrated from across the border, according to sources. The SDPO Akhnoor and DySP Operations and SHO Khour were on the spot along with army officers from 10 Div.
The SDM Pallanwala, Devender Pal, under whose jurisdiction Battal falls, said, “The searches were continued till last light today evening and now would again start by Security Forces. This is first of its kind incident in this area and the panic has been gripped the entire.”
Meanwhile, an alert has been sounded in the area as there are number of army and other security force camps in the Akhnoor belt and surrounding areas of Battal and also thickly populated villages.
The militants likely infiltrated from across the border to carry out the strike, sources said, adding that the attackers were yet to be traced. There are also possibility that they returned or may holed up somewhere in the thick vegetation in the area.
In the last week of November, seven soldiers, including two Majors, were killed in Jammu’s Nagrota when militants dressed as policemen stormed a military camp and on the same morning a groud of four terrorists was neutralized by BSF at Chamliyal border area.


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