Truck driver, 50 others detained in connection with Kathua ambush : The Tribune India

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Truck driver, 50 others detained in connection with Kathua ambush

Truck driver, 50 others detained in connection with Kathua ambush

Security personnel stand guard near the attack site in Kathua on Wednesday. PTI



Our Correspondent

Jammu, July 10

The manhunt for terrorists responsible for the ambush in Kathua district, which resulted in the tragic death of five Army personnel, has led to the detention of a truck driver and 50 others for questioning, an official said on Wednesday.

According to officials, the truck, which was initially close behind the ill-fated army vehicles on the Machedi-Kindli-Malhar mountainous road, slowed down near Badnota village in Lohai Malhar when the terrorists opened fire from two different directions.

Suspicion has been cast on the civilian tipper driver, with authorities investigating whether he intentionally delayed the convoy by requesting a pass on the culvert.

“The role of a civilian tipper, which slowed down the speed of this convoy, has come under investigation as it is perceived that the driver deliberately asked for a pass on the culvert,” an official said.

“Usually, Army vehicles are given preference in these areas but the tipper still asked for a pass which slowed down both vehicles,” he added.

An official said Army and police personnel had been deployed in dense forests in different parts of Udhampur, Samba, Rajouri and Poonch districts. Fresh searches were launched in the Lala Chack area of Samba, Manjakote area of Rajouri and Surankote of Poonch on Wednesday morning, he added.

On Monday, terrorists had ambushed a patrol party on the Machedi-Kindli-Malhar mountainous road near Badnota in Lohai Malhar, around 150 km from the Kathua district headquarters, killing five Army personnel and injuring as many.

From the Bhaderwah side, security personnel were moving cautiously because of the area’s challenging topography, thick foliage and natural caves, the official said. Personnel of the Army’s special forces “Para” unit were also deployed to conduct surgical operations in specific areas, he said. The official said the search teams were being supported by helicopter and UAV surveillance. In addition, sniffer dogs had been deployed and metal detectors were being used, particularly in the dense forest areas of the region. He said an NIA team had visited the scene of the ambush. Residents of Badnota and its adjoining villages said they were concerned about their safety. They demand that village defence groups be sanctioned for their self-defence and to effectively tackle threats posed by terrorists.

“The government should provide weapons and training to us, we are ready to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with our forces against the terrorists,” Jagdish Raj, a local, said. Search operations were also intensified in Doda district, where a gunfight had broken out yesterday. — With PTI inputs

Locals: Train us in self-defence

  • Residents of Badnota and its adjoining villages said they were concerned about their safety. They demanded that village defence groups be sanctioned for self-defence and to effectively tackle threats posed by terrorists
  • “The government should provide weapons and training to us, we are ready to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with our forces against the terrorists,” Jagdish Raj, a local, said

#Jammu #Kathua


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