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NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW: The Sunjuwan Army camp in Jammu on Saturday was hit by a Jaish-e-Mohammad fidayeen attack even as intelligence inputs about an imminent terror strike by the group and a security alert were in place in view of Afzal Guru’s death anniversary on February 9.
Intelligence sources said apart from the attack coinciding with the fifth anniversary of hanging of the Jaish terrorist and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, the modus operandi was typical of the terror group.
Jaish, of late through its Afzal Guru Squad, is known to hit hard targets like Army installations and camps in the early hours and use well-trained fidayeen who try to inflict maximum casualties by accessing family quarters. The modus operandi was employed in previous Jaish attacks at Army camps in Uri and Pathankot.
“Incidentally, Army and paramilitary installations were asked to be extra vigilant and ensure foolproof perimeter security and round-the-clock surveillance. The Army will be conducting its own enquiry relating to the alleged breach, while the intelligence agencies will try and retrace the route the fidayeen may have taken to reach the camp as well as the possibility of local help,” said a senior intelligence officer.
While probing the ‘local facilitator’ angle, the agencies will be mindful of the fact that Jammu is home to the largest number of illegal Rohingya refugee settlers in India. Of the nearly 40,000 Rohingyas living in India, the largest chunk of 7,096 are based in Jammu. Jaish chief Masood Azhar has repeatedly given a call to Muslims for avenging “atrocities on Rohingya Muslims” and fighting for their cause.
“Since Sunjuwan is not very close to the border with Pakistan, the possibility of local help needs to be probed. The Army’s report is awaited before deciding the further course of action,” said an officer.
Less than a week ago, in a 12-minute long audio address by Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his aides had reiterated their resolve and plans to attack India.
Azhar’s address to the Jaish members was intercepted by intelligence agencies at Central Command and Western Command headquarters, who were on the prowl to find links between waving of ISIS flags in Jammu and Kashmir and related incidents in Uttar Pradesh last year.
He made a veiled reference of his outfit’s attack at Pathankot Air Force base despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to meet Nawaz Sharif in December 2015.