GREF camp attack merits quicker probe

TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/11/2017 12:57:09 AM Edit and Opinion

The recent attack on a formation of General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) in Akhnoor area of Jammu killing three persons is a not ordinary terror strike and its investigation deserves as much imagination as intelligence. Three casual labourers with the General Reserve Engineer Forces of Border Roads Organisation were killed and one was injured in a terror attack, barely two kilometers from the Line of Control on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday. The attack comes close on the heels of army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s maiden visit to Crossed Swords Division in Akhnoor on January 5. The Battal area where the attack took place is not far from Akhnoor. It is also close to the strategic location where the International Border meanders into the Line of Control which then goes beyond along Rajouri and Poonch districts. There are a number of reasons which invite more attention towards this attack than the ones in Uri and Nagrota. One has to understand that Army always remained a main target of the militants –whether locals or the specially tasked packs coming in from Pakistan. The GREF –though a branch of the Army –or the other engineering formations have rarely been the targets of terrorists. Why then attack on labourers in Battal. One can also not forget to draw some ideas from what the Chinese PLA does in Ladakh. The Chinese troops come to the Indian territory in the areas which are disputed from their point of view and disrupt the construction works. However, there have not been any killings. Is Pakistan also employing the same strategy? In the previous years the Pakistani and Indian troops have engaged in fighting, particularly, along the Line of Control in Baramulla and Kupwara districts in attempts to stall each other’s construction works but such attacks of precision have never happened. But these fighting have mainly been of the nature of some warning shots which may have occasionally triggered some longer bouts of confrontation but such a direct attack has never happened. What has happened in Battal is clearly worrisome. The camp where the incident occurred has some Army formations in the close vicinity. There is also a possibility that militants mistook the GREF formation for an Army formation but in this case too the incidents takes us back to the basic question –what security grids or deterrence have been put in place after the Nagrota attack?

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