Ground Report | Srinagar
A after aborting a major militant attack on parallel lines with the fatal Lethopora blast last year, Police on Friday said it has identified the owner of the vehicle who happens to be an active militant of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen from Shopian district.
“The Santro car which was used for IED belongs to Hidayatullah Malik, an active Hizbul Mujahideen militant who is a resident of Sharatpora Shopian. He had joined militant ranks in July last year,” a senior police officer told GNS but wished not to be named.
Addressing reporters here on Thursday, Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said that a major incident of a “vehicle-borne IED blast”, akin to 2019-Lethpora type explosion, was averted by timely detection of the car fitted with “40-45 kilograms of explosives” in Rajpora area of southern Pulwama district.
He said the security agencies were getting inputs about a possible attack by the militants for some time.
“The police were receiving inputs since a week that HM and JeM militants were planning to launch a big suicidal strike against security forces using car bomb. When the input matured on Wednesday, we developed it and nakas were placed in Pulwama,”
–Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar
In the evening on Wednesday last, he said, when the suspected car reached a naka, the joint team of forces fired some warning shots and the militant turned the car away and fled.
“At another naka, the forces again fired some warning shots and the militant fled from the spot, taking advantage of darkness, and left the car behind (near Ayengund). The forces used lights to check the vehicle from a distance after finding something suspicious.
We tightened the cordon and waited for the first light of the day,” he said, adding, “This (Thursday) morning, a bomb disposal squad reached the spot and saw the vehicle was laden with explosives.” The IED was later diffused in a technical way, he said.
Responding to a question whether the bid was like Lethopra attack in which at least 40 CRPF personnel were killed on February 14 last year, the top police officer of Kashmir responded in affirmative. “Definitely. He would have targeted any police or security forces vehicle.”
Yesterday IGP Kashmir said that the with the first light of the day, the security forces found that the vehicle was suspicious and that the Bomb Disposal Squad was instantly called. “After preliminary investigations, we found that the vehicle was laden with at least 40 to 45 kgs of explosive material which include ammonium nitrate, RDX and other material. Earlier, we thought it must be around 10 to 15 kgs,” he said as per KNO.
“We concluded that 40 to 45 kgs of explosive material was used by militants after seeing that the vehicle went up 15 meters above the ground when the IED was being destroyed.”
Militant identified as Adil who works for Hizb and Jaish and two other militants of these outfits are behind the act. “They were planning the suicide attack on 17th of Ramadhan (Jang-e-Badr), but couldn’t do it due to our intensified operations against militants,”
He said that the timely action of police, army and the CRPF in detecting and defusing the IED is laudable. “I compliment all the security agencies for this successful operation,” the IGP said.
Pulwama Police received credible information on Wednesday that a terrorist was moving with an explosive laden car ready to attack at some location. The security forces swung into action and various teams were formed to cover all possible routes. The terrorists got alarmed by the beefed up security and escaped after abandoning the car. After investigation it was found that the vehicle was carrying heavy explosives in a drum on the rear seat.
The security forces kept the car under watch for the night and evacuated the people in nearby houses before calling in the Bomb Disposal Squad to defuse the bomb.
This came after a joint team of the Central Reserve Police Force and Jammu and Kashmir Police was attacked by terrorists in Pulwama last week. Two soliders were injured in the attack. The militants had opened fire when the security forces were patrolling the area.
However, the driver, who is said to be a Hizbul Mujahideen militant, managed to escape after initial firefight in the cover of drakness.
Investigationn so far have revealed that the white colour Santro car had a number plate of a two- wheeler, which was registered in the name of a resident of Jammu’s Kathua.
In February 2019, 40 CRPF soldiers were killed in a similar IED laden car driven by a Adil Ahmed Dar, a Jaish terrorist. Later in April last year, a similar failed attempt of exploding IED happened in Banihal in which Hizbul terrror module was said to be involved. Both cases of terror conspiracy are being investigated by NIA.