M A I N   N E W S

6 killed in Jammu jail attack
Tribune News Service

Jammu, March 3
Six persons, including three policemen, were killed when terrorists attacked the Central Jail in the heart of the city and fired indiscriminately in an unsuccessful bid to get some hardcore Pakistani terrorists freed while they were being taken to a TADA court within the jail premises here this morning.

Nine persons, including four policemen, were injured in the gun battle.

A terrorist was shot dead by the CRPF personnel and the state policemen guarding the jail. One more reportedly managed to escape.

The attack on the jail in the high security area came when the Union Home Secretary and a team of officers of the Election Commission was in the town. A crucial meeting of the Unified Command of the Army and various agencies of the police and security forces was also scheduled to be held here tomorrow.

The terrorists had so synchronised the attack that they appeared at the front gate at 10.10 am just the time when the detainees were brought out of the main building for being produced in the TADA court. They started firing at the policemen who were accompanying them.

The CRPF personnel outside the main gate opened fire at the ultras who were firing indiscriminately from their automatic weapons. Two persons, including a terrorist, were killed on the spot while others succumbed to their injuries in the medical college hospital. The condition of two injured persons was stated to be critical.

Jail officials said Shoukat Ali, whom the terrorists had presumably come to get freed, was also killed in the gun battle. The police initially believed it to be a criminal case of group rivalry.

Those killed have been identified as ASI Harbans Lal Sharma, Constable Naresh Kumar, SPO Sukhwinder Singh, Rashid Ali and Shoukat Ali.

Security in the city was stepped up on Sunday following reports that three suicide attackers of a terrorist outfit had sneaked into the town. However, these terrorists are reported to have reached the jail gate on a scooter from an adjoining locality.

The jail is situated near the Raj Bhavan, police headquarters and the Karan Nagar residential area.

The IGP (Jammu) said the attack might have been to derail the peace process. Moreover, the terrorists might have wanted to come to limelight as the Assembly was in session.

PTI adds: The banned Lashker-e-Toiba was involved in the Jammu Central Jail attack, a senior police officer said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Jammu-Kathua range Farooq Ahmed told PTI that a suicide squad member of LeT had come on a scooter for the attack to engineer the escape of militants.

The slain LeT militant was identified as Mohammad Bilal alias Abu Asad Ullah of Askardu tribal area in Pakistan, the DIG said.

Besides an AK rifle, four grenades and some magazines were recovered from him. Some papers which mentioned “how to attack and how to escape” were also confiscated.

Meanwhile, Deputy Controller Prisons Sahibzada Rafiq told PTI that one unarmed warden Jarnail Singh had snatched the rifle from the militant before shooting him dead. — PTI

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |