‘Prized catch’ in J&K raises several questions

New Delhi (DHNS): After the captured Pakistani militant began to sing before the interrogators, security agencies were trying to join the dots to find out if the terrorists have a bigger game plan.

Army officials admit there are still many unanswered questions related to the terrorist, who changed his name thrice since his capture this morning. First he said his name is Kasim, which was later changed to Usman and finally Md Naved, a resident of Ghulam Mustafabad in the Faisalabad district of Pakistan.

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The other terrorist, killed by the Indian forces, is well built, wearing battle fatigue, shoe and wrist watch. In comparison, Naved alias Usman was sporting a brown trouser, blue shirt and no shoe. Despite carrying an Kalashnikov rifle, he was overpowered by two unarmed villagers.

Such oddities have raised questions on whether he belonged to the same suicide squad that opened fire on the Border Security Force (BSF) convoy or is a part of a separate unit.

Army sources said they are not ruling out the possibility of two groups and there may be other individuals who managed to flee. There are unconfirmed reports about a third terrorist, who appears to be missing. The captured terrorist narrated his own story of crossing over a week ago in a group, but security officials are double checking the facts and intensifying vigil on the routes joining NH-1 that connects Jammu with Srinagar.

Gurdaspur is less than 100 km from Udhampur – headquarters of the Northern Command. “The terrain is very helpful because of lots of broken grounds. There is a BSF fence which is eroded in places and within 10 km there is a highway. Lashkar-e-Toiba is now concentrating in Jammu,” a former Army Corps commander, familiar with Jammu & Kashmir, told Deccan Herald. There is also no let up in ceasefire violation – almost 250 since January 1 – which is commonly used to give protective cover to the infiltrators. The number of ceasefire violations rose to 583 in 2014, which is a significant jump from 347 violations in 2013. The Special Forces from the Army (1 Para), the Special Operations Group of Jammu & Kashmir Police and the BSF were involved in the operation, but many links are unclear.

Notwithstanding the haze, security agencies are sure on one point – he is a prized catch, who can disclose vital information on terror network. “This is a big opportunity for us to project him before the world on the diplomatic and strategic front to counter Pakistan’s claims on financing and training the terrorists,” said the Army veteran.

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