Two terror suspects picked up, guide identified; hunt on to nab him

Cops close to breakthrough in Hiranagar attack

Slain terrorists lost track in absence of help
Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, June 20: Police is inching close to busting terror module responsible for guiding the terrorists after their infiltration from the International Border (IB) in Hiranagar and Kathua sectors to the mountains of Udhampur from where they have been reaching Doda, Pir Panjal Range and the Kashmir valley.
Two members of the module have been detained and are likely to be arrested while another accused who had to take the terrorists, eliminated in Hiranagar on June 11 and 12, to the forests is absconding. A person who gave shelter to the terrorists in his house has gone underground and a hunt was on for the absconders.

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Sources told the Excelsior that two persons who guided the terrorists to the house of a terror associate where they stayed for the night have been picked up by the joint team of Intelligence agencies, Special Operations Group (SOG) and police for interrogation.
They have been identified as Ashiq Ali son of Sherwani and Maskeen Ali son of Faqir Hussain, both residents of Bathal Chak in Hiranagar tehsil of Kathua district.
The duo took the terrorists to the house of a terror associate at village Sherpur where they stayed for the night. In the night, as per the sources, a terror guide known by the code name of Haji Bakerwal had to come to receive the terrorists and guide them to the forests of Udhampur from where they had to proceed to forests of either Doda or Kashmir.
As Haji Bakerwal didn’t turn up the terrorists tried to proceed towards the forests of Udhampur on their own but lost the track. With scorching heat, they sought water from the villagers and were trapped.
Subsequently, an encounter broke out in the night of June 11 and one of the terrorists was killed in the night and another the next day at village Saida in Hiranagar. A CRPF jawan was martyred in the encounter while a civilian was injured.
Intelligence agencies, SOG and police have picked up the two terror suspects and are now searching Haji Bakerwal but he remained untraced so far.
Haji Bakerwal is suspected to have helped some terrorists earlier also in reaching the forests on their way to Doda and Kashmir after infiltration from the International Border.
Ashiq Ali and Maskeen Ali are being subjected to sustained questioning to ascertain whether they had helped more groups of terrorists also. Though they claimed that they incidentally came across the terrorists and guided them to the house, the security agencies are not ready to accept their claim as they didn’t inform police even after the encounter about movement of the terrorists.
Sources said the theory of Pakistan army having dug a tunnel along the International Border to facilitate infiltration of terrorists hasn’t been ruled out. The BSF has been carrying out anti-tunneling operations along the border but no such tunnels have been detected so far.
Arrest of Haji Bakerwal could, however, give some more clues to the security agencies, the sources said.