Two Army personnel were killed on Saturday morning after militants from the Jaish-e-Mohammed group stormed the family quarters of an Army camp in Sunjuwan area of Jammu. The Army said it had killed three militants, who were dressed in combat fatigues, and were carrying AK-56 assault rifles, a large amount of ammunition and hand grenades.
Both the soldiers killed – one a junior commissioned officer and another a non-commissioned officer – were from Jammu and Kashmir, the Army said in a statement. Nine people were injured, of whom two are in critical condition, it added.
The operation is still under way in Sunjuwan and will continue till all the terrorists are either apprehended or killed, the defence public relations officer said. Earlier, ANI had reported that there was no hostage crisis in the camp and 16 out of 19 flats had been evacuated.
Jammu’s Inspector General of Police SD Singh Jamwal said suspicious movement was noticed at around 4.55 am on Saturday. An unidentified senior police official told NDTV, “It’s not clear how many terrorists entered the camp and how did they manage to do that.”
The Indian Air Force airlifted para-commandos from Udhampur to Jammu, the agency said. Security was heightened in Udhampur after the attack. The district administration has asked schools within 500 metres of the camp to remain closed.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Shesh Paul Vaid about the attack and directed officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs to look into the matter, ANI reported.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said she was deeply disturbed by the terror attack in Sunjuwan. “My heart goes out to the injured and their families,” she added.
Meanwhile, there was an uproar in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly after Speaker Kavinder Gupta said that the attack had taken place because of the presence of Rohingyas in the area. The speaker was asked to expunge his comments after Opposition leaders demanded an apology from him.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLC Vikram Randhawa told ANI, “I have been raising the issue of Bangladeshis and Rohingyas living in surrounding areas of Jammu, illegally. They are increasing and if not stopped, they will act as militant organisations’ shelter. This incident may also be connected to them. An investigation must be done.”
The state has been on high alert from Friday, which was the death anniversary of militant Afzal Guru, who was hanged for his involvement in the 2001 Parliament attacks.
The attack comes a day after Jammu and Kashmir minister Abdul Rehman Veeri said one civlian was killed and three Army officers were injured in Poonch in Pakistani firing in 24 hours, PTI reported. Veeri, who was speaking in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Thursday, said that Pakistan Army had started firing indiscriminately in Mankote sector on Wednesday.