‘At­tacks on Army, CRPF camps joint plan by LeT, Jaish’

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - Bharti.Jain@

New Delhi: In­ves­ti­ga­tions so far into the ter­ror­ist at­tack at an Army camp at Sun­juwan in Jammu and the bid to storm a CRPF camp at Karan Na­gar in Sri­na­gar a day later in­di­cate that the two at­tacks were syn­chro­nised as part of a joint strat­egy by Jaish-e-Mo­hammed and Lashker-e-Toiba to hit se­cu­rity forces si­mul­ta­ne­ously in the two re­gions.

“It is rare for two fi­day­een at­tacks on se­cu­rity camps to be staged si­mul­ta­ne­ously. The pur­pose of a fi­day­een at­tack, which is usu­ally made to stretch over 2-3 days as ter­ror­ists en­gage counter-forces with all the am­mu­ni­tion at their dis­posal, is to grab un­di­vided me­dia at­ten­tion. How­ever, there was a de­par­ture this time with the Sun­juwan at­tack by Jaish-e-Mo­ham­mad ter­ror­ists fol­lowed by LeT’s Karan Na­gar strike just a day later,” a se­nior J&K po­lice of­fi­cer told TOI.

The agen­cies say Jaish and LeT com­man­ders op­er­at­ing in south Kash­mir ar­eas like Tral and Pul­wama de­cided to join hands and stage a fi­day­een at­tack in Jammu re­gion and im­me­di­ately fol­low it up with an­other sui­cide strike at a CRPF camp in Sri­na­gar. While the Jammu mis­sion was as­signed to Jaish, LeT was cho­sen to ex­e­cute the Sri­na­gar strike. “The near-si­mul­ta­ne­ous strikes in Jammu and Kash­mir re­gions were pos­si­bly to di­vide the at­ten­tion of the agen­cies and counter-forces,” said a se­nior of­fi­cer of J&K po­lice.

All the five ter­ror­ists in­volved in the two strikes - 3 in Jammu and 2 in Sri­na­gar - were Pak­ista­nis. While the Jaish trio has been iden­ti­fied as Qari Mush­taq alias Ch­hotu, Mo­hammed Adil alias Ir­fan and Mo­hammed Khalid alias Rashid, iden­tity of the two LeT men who tried to un­suc­cess­fully en­ter the CRPF camp in Sri­na­gar is yet to be es­tab­lished. “But both the LeT ter­ror­ists were Pak­ista­nis,” said an of­fi­cer.

Con­firm­ing the new JaishLeT col­lab­o­ra­tion in J&K, an of­fi­cial said: “Jaish and LeT, un­til now work­ing in­de­pen­dently and also seen as ri­vals, have of late come to­gether and are co­or­di­nat­ing op­er­a­tions within J&K. This is rem­i­nis­cent of the LeT-Hizbul Mu­jahideen ar­range­ment that has seen the Pak­istan-based out­fit rely on lo­cal Hizbul cadres and over­ground work­ers for lo­gis­ti­cal help,” said the of­fi­cer.

An in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer pointed out that with both Jaish and Lashker tak­ing a hit last year due to in­ten­si­fied in­tel­li­gence-based op­er­a­tions by the J&K po­lice and CRPF, their Pak­istan-based lead­er­ship may have been in­structed by ISI to join hands. “Even if they are seen as ri­vals, both out­fits re­port to the same mas­ter. So if the mas­ter wants then to come to­gether, they surely will,” said the of­fi­cer.

Sources said there was prior in­tel­li­gence about a meet­ing be­tween Jaish and LeT com­man­ders in Tral early this month. Ac­cord­ing to the in­put, the two out­fits de­cided to stage an at­tack in Sri­na­gar tar­geted at the se­cu­rity forces. The three Jaish ter­ror­ists had in­fil­trated from Pak­istan in July-Au­gust last year and were since op­er­at­ing in Pul­wama area of south Kash­mir.

They trav­elled to Jammu the night be­fore the at­tack and were in touch with han­dlers in Pak­istan as well as lo­cal con­tacts. “Things were be­ing co­or­di­nated from Pak­istan as well as from within Kash­mir,” said a J&K po­lice of­fi­cer.

A soldier guards the Sun­juwan camp in Jammu in this Satur­day photo

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