Gurdaspur Terror Attack: Superintendent of Police killed by Terrorists. Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds high-level meet with Cabinet ranks
Gurdaspur (GSP): A major railway tragedy was averted after five live bombs were found near a Railway bridge on the railway track on the Amritsar-Pathankot section on Monday. The bombs were carefully wired to the railway track at a small bridge near Parmanand railway station, five km from Dinanagar. A train, which was to pass on the railway track, was stopped just 200 metres from the spot where the bombs were planted. Meanwhile, Northern Railway CPRO Neeraj Sharma said that a patrol man saw the live bombs first and informed the police thereafter. He said that two trains are halted and after assessing the situation, these trains will continue of will be cancelled. Railway traffic on the Amritsar-Pathankot section was stopped following the incident. Even as the encounter in Gurdaspur continues, Railway authorities are stunned to find five live bombs from the Dinanagar-Pathankot railway track. The bombs are believed to have been planted by the terrorists before they went on a shooting spree in Dinanagar town.
Gunbattle continues, 14 including 7 Cops killed
Four heavily-armed terrorists wearing Army fatigue went on a rampage on Monday attacking a bus and a police station complex, leaving at least 14 persons, including 2 terrorist and seven policemen, dead and several injured in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district bordering Pakistan.
Here are the ten big developments so far:
1. The terrorists, suspected to be four, struck a moving bus at Dinanagar area at 5 am, spraying bullets at passengers, injuring four. The assailants then targeted a health centre followed by a building where the families of police personnel reside and hurled grenades before entering the police station . Reports said at least two inmates have been killed in the gunbattle.
2. Army columns have been mobilised as the ‘fidayeen’ militants were holed up in Dinanagar police station complex. Special forces too have been deployed and a gunbattle was on several hours after the mayhem started. Gunshots could be heard on television as security forces in red turbans surrounded the building about 20 km from the Pakistan border.
3. Police sources said the attackers had entered India from Pakistan a couple of days ago in Jammu and Kashmir. Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office, Jitendra Singh, said he did not rule out Pakistan’s involvement. “There have been earlier also reports of Pakistan infiltration and cross-border mischief in this area,” said Singh, whose constituency in the Jammu region borders Gurdaspur.
4. The Home Ministry also said an alert has been sounded along the border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and other parts of the country. Rajnath Singh said he has spoken to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and senior officers in the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) about the situation.
5. Home Minister Rajnath Singh also said he had spoken to the head of the Border Security Force and “instructed him to step up the vigil” on the border. “The situation is under control,” Singh told reporters in Bhopal before heading for Neemuch to attend the CRPF Raising Day event.
6. When asked by a reporter whether the attack could be a reaction to the capital punishment awarded to Yakub Memon in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case or it was a case of cross-border terrorism, Rajnath Singh refused to comment. “The operation is going on and I won’t say anything more than this at present,” he said.
7. Local resident Kamaljeet Singh Matharu, who said that the assailants had snatched his car after firing at him, said they were dressed in army uniform and were heavily armed. Matharu received gunshot injuries and is admitted in a local hospital.
8. In a related development, five live bombs were also found on the Amritsar-Pathankot railway track and the train services on the route have been suspended.
9. The Gurdaspur terror attack echoed in Parliament on Monday with the opposition attacking the government over its Pakistan policy and called for more internal security. “Didn’t our security agencies know about the plans of the terrorists sponsored by Pakistan?” Congress leader Anand Sharma asked.
10. Monday’s attack comes a day after India celebrated its victory over Pakistani forces at Kargil in 1999 and weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif spoke for about an hour during the BRICS summit at Ufa in Russia, raising hopes of an improvement in the bilateral relations.
With the Army launching operations against suspected militants in Punjab’s Gurdaspur on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level meet in the Parliament with Union Ministers Manohar Parrikar, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu.
Just before the meeting, Defence Minister Manohar parrikar said, “Special forces have moved there (Gurdaspur). Counter insurgency and counter terror special forces are there.”
Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed confidence that the operation will be successful. “I am in touch with Punjab CM, NSA, DG BSF. The forces on the border are on alert. Operation is still on, I will not make any comments. We will be successful in operation,” he said.
In a suspected terror attack, gunmen wearing army uniform went on a rampage attacking a bus, a health centre and a police station, leaving five persons, including a policeman, dead and several injured in Gurdaspur district of Punjab.
Army has launched an operation against the militants numbering about five who are holed up in Dinanagar police station complex. The assailants also targeted a building where the families of police personnel reside and threw grenades.
Army was called in from Pathankot and the whole area has been cordoned off.
Quick Reaction Teams, bomb squads, heavy police including senior officers have also been deployed in the area which lies close to the Indo-Pakistan border.
Two army helicopters were also pressed into the operation and a gunbattle was on when reports last came in. Though there were reports of a hostage situation, officials were tightlipped.
According to police, the mayhem started at about 5 AM when the attackers first targeted a roadside eatery and took off in a car after killing a person who was sleeping near Dinanagar bypass.
They opened fire on a moving bus, in which four passengers were injured, they said.
They also targeted a community health centre adjacent Dinanagar police station, in which a policeman and three civilians including a woman who were present in the premises were killed.
The gunmen entered the Dinanagar police station and opened fire on policemen there in which five policemen were seriously injured. They then targeted other part of the building where the families of police personnel reside.
In a related development, five live bombs were found on Amritsar-Pathankot railway track and the train services on the route had been suspended.