STATE TIMES NEWS
Jammu/Srinagar: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that terrorists who attacked an Army camp in Jammu enjoyed some local support and had handlers across the border. She also said that Pakistan will have to pay for the misadventure.
“The counter-terrorist operation in Sunjuwan was called off today (Monday) at 10.30 AM, however, the sanitisation operation is on. There have been six casualties, including a civilian. Three terrorists have been eliminated. There were reports of four terrorists. The fourth terrorist must have been a guide and may not have entered the camp area,” she said.
The Defence Minister added, “Terrorists belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, sponsored by Azhar Masood residing in Pakistan and deriving support from there in.”
“All the evidence collected have been compiled. Definitely, they will be given to Pakistan. Even after giving dossiers after dossiers Pakistan has not taken any action,” she said.
“Our intelligence inputs indicate that these terrorists were being controlled by their handlers from across the border,” she said. Sitharaman said the evidence was being scrutinised by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which shall soon furnish a detailed report.
“I compliment the valour of our brave soldiers who carried out this operation with precision and professionalism.
“Giving the evidence to Pakistan will be a continuous process. It will have to be proved over and over again that they are responsible. Pakistan will have to pay for this misadventure. Intelligence inputs show that terrorists were controlled by their handlers from across the border. Pakistan is expanding the arch of terror to areas south of Pir Panjal and resorting to ceasefire violations to assist infiltration,” Sitharaman further said.
A group of heavily armed men struck the sprawling camp of the 36 Brigade of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry before dawn on February 10, 2018. Five Army men, including two Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs), were martyred in the attack.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also met the Defence Minister and briefed about the security situation in the State. Earlier in the day, Sitharaman visited those injured in the terror strike at a Military hospital here. The defence minister then met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Sitharaman was briefed on the security situation in the wake of the Sunjwan terror attack, officials said.
In the end, I wish to express my deepest condolences on the loss of lives of our brave soldiers and their families during the dastardly attack on our unarmed soldiers and assure our nation that their sacrifice would not go in vain, she said.
If Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had her way she is going to crack her whip against the wide spread constructions in the close vicinity of military stations, peripheral walls of vital security installations and cantonments soon.
On Monday when she was confronted by the media persons in Jammu and asked how civil constructions have been allowed by various state government agencies in violation of the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines, Defence Minister admitted frankly that the ministry is well aware of this problem and the same is taking an ugly turn.
She maintained it is not only in Jammu but across different states of the country where civilians have raised constructions close to various vital security installations.
As per MHA guideline, no construction should be permitted/raised within the 500 metres radius of vital security installations.
Responding to the straight question Defence Minister said her ministry is currently studying the whole issue. “Whether to allow such constructions or not”.
She said even there are constructions which have been approved by various agencies after giving valid permissions to the local residents.
She said at present she is studying the entire issue and would soon take a final call and decide how to resolve the issue. “We will have to see whether we can remove these constructions or not”, she added. It may be mentioned here the terrorists who stormed Sunjwan military station entered inside the army camp from the rear side taking advantage of densely populated areas. The civilians in the area had constructed houses less than 2-5 meters from the boundary wall of the army camp.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper