Nagrota encounter: Jaish terrorists planned `major attack` on 26/11 anniversary; PM Narendra holds review meeting


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday (November 20) held a review meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, and top intelligence establishment in the wake of Nagrota encounter in Jammu and Kashmir.  

The Prime Minister is learned to have hailed the courage of security agencies to foil the nefarious designs of the terrorists.     

Citing government sources, an ANI report said that the terrorists were planning a “major attack” on the anniversary of the 26/11 terror attack. Mumbai had come under attack on November 26, 2008, when 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists targeted the city in a series of coordinated shootings and bombings that injured over 300 and claimed the lives of 166 people in India`s financial capital.

On Thursday, the encounter between terrorists and security forces broke out in the early hours near Ban Toll Plaza in the Nagrota area of Jammu district. The encounter lasted for three hours in which four terrorists were eliminated. The four terrorists are likely to be from the United Nations-designated terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). 

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Sources told ANI, “These terrorists used old modus operandi and had recently infiltrated the Indian side. An investigation is underway.” 

Mukesh Singh, Inspector General of Police, Jammu Zone had said that it was possible terrorists were planning a “big attack” and targeting the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections in the Union Territory. The DDC polls are scheduled to be held in Jammu and Kashmir in eight phases between November 28 and December 19, while the counting will take place on December 22.

The IG, Jammu Zone, reportedly stated that the kind of seizure from the encounter site is “unprecedented”, adding “It`s possible that they were planning a big attack. This kind of seizure is unprecedented. It is possible that they were targeting the DDC election. However, we are investigating.” 

The encounter broke out after a truck was intercepted at 5 am on Thursday during a routine check. “During the search, CRPF soldiers and police were fired upon using heavy ammunition, and grenades were also lobbed. More forces were called in and the encounter went on for 3 hours,” the IG said.

Meanwhile, security has been tightened near Vaishno Devi Shrine in Katra after the Nagrota encounter in Jammu to avoid any untoward incident. 

In the three-hour-long gunbattle on Thursday, four terrorists were killed and two policemen injured. The truck, loaded with rice sacks, caught fire during the encounter. The bodies of the terrorists, hiding in a cavity within the truck, were later recovered.

The two injured policemen, Kuldeep Raj and Mohammad Ishaq Malik were admitted to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu, and they are out of danger. 

A huge cache of arms, ammunition, and explosive material, including 11 AK rifles, three pistols, 24 magazines, 29 grenades and six UBGL grenades, was recovered, the IGP, Jammu, said, adding that medicines, explosive material, a bundle of wires, electronic circuits and bags in huge quantities were also recovered from them.

(With Agency Inputs)

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