Suspects, Army exchange firing

Troops in action after firing at Ratnuchak Army camp. —Excelsior/Rakesh
Troops in action after firing at Ratnuchak Army camp. —Excelsior/Rakesh

No evidence to suggest terrorist movement: DGP
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 30: Security forces today launched a search operation after two suspected persons, believed to be terrorists, exchanged fire with Army personnel manning a post at Ratnuchak military camp on the outskirts of Jammu.
An Army guard noticed suspicious movement of two persons near Ratnuchak camp around 1.50 am and challenged them, sources said.
They said the suspected persons opened fire, prompting retaliation by the Army personnel guarding the post.
No one was injured in the brief exchange of firing, the sources said, adding the suspected ultras fled the scene under the cover of darkness.
The whole area bordering Samba district was sealed and a search operation is underway to track down the fleeing suspects, the sources said.
Defence Public Relations Officer (PRO) Jammu said: “In Ratnuchak Military Station, a suspicious movement was noticed by the Sentry on duty at about 1.50 am today. The suspects were challenged but they didn’t stop. Thereafter warning shots were fired by the Sentry. The suspects fired back on the Sentry and rushed out of the sight. The search operation is still on”.
Meanwhile, replying to a question on the brief exchange of fire between two suspected terrorists and the Army personnel manning a post at Ratnuchak Military Station early today, Director General of Police (DGP), Dilbag Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a sports function that the whole area was searched but there was no evidence to suggest terrorist movement.
“We dispatched a police party immediately after getting information about the suspicious movement of two persons and the brief exchange of fire. The whole area was searched throughout the night but there was no evidence on the ground,” he said.
The DGP, however, said, “Since we are close to the (International) Border and based on the past experience, we are not taking anything lightly. A search operation was conducted thoroughly but no confirmation came from the ground suggesting presence of the terrorists.”
“Jammu is always on alert. We have to be on alert,” he said when asked whether an alert has been sounded across Jammu region following the incident.
Following a low-intensity blast at main Bus Stand on Friday night, Dilbag said adequate security arrangements are in place across the Jammu region and there is no need to panic.
“We are alert to the situation and adequate security arrangements are in place. There is no need to panic. The mischievous elements are trying to create fear but we are well prepared to take care of the mischief mongers, track them down and bring them to book,” Singh said.
Dismissing the blast at the Bus Stand as a “mischief”, Dilbag said the police was looking into the incident and those behind it cannot escape it.
Asked if there was any specific input about terrorists planning an attack in Jammu, he replied in negative and said, “We have registered major successes in anti-militancy operations this year… They (militants) always make attempts (to strike) but we are alert and fully prepared to deal with them.”
Asked about the reports about four rifles of a Congress MLC’s Personal Security Officers having gone missing from his residence in Srinagar on Sunday, the DGP said, “We are getting details.”
“We will look into the incident thoroughly. We are not going to tolerate this kind of incompetence and appropriate action will be taken in this case,” he said.
He said the weapon snatching is directly linked to the militancy and it will soon come to fore where the weapons have gone as the investigation is on.