Jammu & Kashmir police on Thursday foiled a terror plot by arresting three suspected Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) terrorists at Lakhanpur on the Jammu-Pathankot highway in Kathua district. The terrorists were caught with a huge cache of arms, which, police said, was being transported to Kashmir in a truck to “disturb peace in the Valley”.
On specific intelligence inputs, the truck loaded with cardboard material was intercepted at a checkpoint on the highway at 8am. The arms and ammunition seized from the truck included four AK-56 rifles, two AK-47s, six magazines and 180 live rounds. Kathua senior superintendent of police Sridhar Patil said the three men have been identified as Ubaid-ul-Islam and Sabeel Ahmed Baba of Rajpora of Pulwama, and Jahangir Ahmed Parrey of Charar-e-Sharief in Budgam. Patil said the truck, with registration no. JK13E-2000, is owned by Suhil Ahmed Latoo of Gulshanabad, Pulwama. It was being driven by one Javaid Ahmed Dar. Police also seized Rs 11,000 in cash from the accused.Intelligence sources said the truck passed through several checkpoints spread across the border districts of Punjab. The possibility of terrorists using the Bamyal sector of Pathankot, which is close to the international border with Pakistan, with the motive of entering J&K from Amritsar via Lakhanpur border cannot be ruled out. However, the Kathua SSP has denied that the truck had come from Amritsar and had used the Bamyal sector to enter J&K.
Punjab inspector general of police (border range) SPS Parmar said a vehicle can also get into J&K from Himachal Pradesh. “So it is a matter of investigation where the truck originated from,” Parmar said. However, intelligence sources maintained that the area between Bamyal, a village in Pathankot district, and Hiranagar in J&K is considered to be “safe passage” for illegal interstate trade. Besides, terrorists are known to use this route.
The sources said there are fewer checkposts on the road via Bamyal sector compared to the newly constructed Amritsar-Pathankot toll road. It is believed that the Pakistani terrorists who had struck at the Pathankot Air Force base and Dinanagar police station in 2016 crossed over to India from the Bamyal sector.
“In this case, there is a possibility of cross-border help via the Bamyal sector and this is a matter of investigation,” the sources added.