JeM strike – 2 Army jawans martyred, 5 women, 2 army officers injured
In yet another provocative terror strike on the Indian soil, a heavily armed group of Pakistan based terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) Saturday stormed the heavily guarded Sunjwan Military station located on the outskirts of Jammu after breaching multi-layered security cover.
During the ongoing operations, two army jawans were martyred while nine others including family members of army jawans received grievous injuries.
The Indian army has so far managed to neutralise at least three members of a JeM suicide squad.
Two senior army officers were also injured during the operation. To prevent loss of innocent human lives the Indian army delayed the operation as it preferred shifting stranded families to safer locations.
Elite para commandos of the Indian army have been roped in while army helicopters were carrying out aerial reconnaissance of the whole area to keep a vigil on the movement of the holed up terrorists in the built-up area.
The operation which started around 4.10 a.m was still going on. Till last reports came in the Indian army was preparing for the final assault during the night to flush out the holed up terrorists.
The same military station was earlier attacked by Pakistan based Lashkar-e- Toiba cadre on June 28, 2003, in which 12 soldiers were martyred and 7 others were injured.
Indian army was moving cautiously to avoid any collateral damage due to the presence of families of army jawans inside the camp.
A high alert was sounded across Jammu early in the day following the fidayeen strike.
The schools in the close vicinity were closed down while traffic was allowed to ply on the bypass road by the local authorities.
Till late evening the army commandos had cleared more than 150 houses in the complex by shifting the occupants to safer places.
Ministry of Defence Spokesman in Jammu Lt-Col Devendra Anand in Jammu said, “in the ongoing operations in Sunjuwan the army has killed two heavily armed terrorists”.
Lt-Col Anand said the terrorists were wearing army combat dress and carrying AK-56 Assault Rifles. We have recovered a large quantity of ammunition, JeM flag, hand grenades etc, he added.
Defence Spokesman also confirmed a search of their belongings clearly indicate the terrorists were of JeM cadre.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also chaired a high-level security review meeting in the wake of terror strike inside Sunjuwan Military station.
“Deeply disturbed by the terrorist attack in #Sunjuwan today. My heart goes out to the injured & their families” Chief Minister tweeted.
Mehbooba Mufti later called on injured in the military hospital.
Earlier in the day, the state assembly witnessed noisy scenes after BJP legislators shouted slogans against Pakistan.
Making a statement in the state assembly, Minister for Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs, A R Veeri said that at about 0410 hours a group of Fidayeen attacked Sunjwan Military Station (36 Brigade) resulting in death of Subedar Madan Lal Chowdhary and Subedar Mohammad Ashraf Mir besides four others, including a civilian, got injured who have been shifted to GMC Jammu for treatment.
The Minister informed the House that the whole area has been cordoned off by Army and the security forces and operation is underway as militants have taken refuge in JCO quarters in the area.
He said during the operation, Col Rohit Solanki, Havaldar Abdul Hamid and Lance Naik Bahadur Singh and Neha D/O of Subedar Madan Lal Chowdhary got injured who were initially shifted to Military Hospital Satwari and afterward to Government Medical College, Jammu for treatment.
The Minister said the exact number of fidayeen is still not known but as per the initial call received at Police Control Room (PCR) Jammu at around 0455 hours this morning, four to five militants are involved in the attack.
The quick reaction teams of the Indian army and reinforcements were immediately rushed to the spot to contain the terrorists inside one of the buildings.
War of words triggered between Omar and BJP spokesman
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after terrorists attacked the Sunjuwan army camp killing two junior commissioned officers (JCOs), and said the party should be “begging forgiveness” of the nation for its “abject mishandling” of Jammu and Kashmir.
In a Twitter duel with BJP national spokesman G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, the National Conference (NC) leader said, “Forget about the valley or the border even Jammu city is not safe under you guys (including your allies) so stop obfuscating & start explaining how you’ve managed to mess things up so spectacularly.”
In response to Rao’s tweet demanding action against Akbar Lone, Omar said, “You let us worry about the MLA. You, on the other hand, should be begging forgiveness of the nation for your abject mishandling of J&K over the last few years both at the Centre & with your coalition partner (PDP in J-K).”
Rao had asked the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister to Akbar Lone from his party instead of backing the MLA’s “pro-Pak rants”. “@OmarAbdullah Please stop this drama. Your insistence on not saying (doing) anything more says it all. You are backing your MLA for his Pro-Pak rants. Expel MLA from party NOW! Try & redeem your party from this MLA’s rants and your Dad’s provocative recent statements on Kashmir!” the BJP national spokesman had said in a tweet.
Rao was referring to Omar’s earlier tweet wherein he had said the party would not say anything more on the issue of Lone’s pro-Pakistan slogans in the assembly. The party has already distanced itself from the MLA’s remarks and condemned it.
Options before India?
Following series of provocative strikes against the Indian army, Pakistan is deliberately raising the bar too high for the Indian army to respond to the grave provocation. As the public mood is going against the Modi government in the aftermath of series of audacious strikes inaction is seen as meek surrender before Pakistan army. Senior defense experts freely debated the options available before India to contain the Pakistan army and also minimise collateral damage. On the other hand, a second round of surgical strikes has become the need of the hour. Defence experts claimed the decision to carry out surgical strikes or any other military action would be taken at the highest level in the union govt. The Indian army is capable to defending frontiers of the mother Nation, defense experts opined.