Srinagar attack: Agencies explore possibility of mole

At least eight soldiers were killed ahead of PM's visit in June

Reports of possibility of insider information about the movement of an army convoy that was attacked at Hyderpora bypass here last month has sent security agencies into a tizzy.

At least eight army soldiers were killed and more than a dozen injured in the deadly attack carried out by militants just a day before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were scheduled to visit Kashmir on June 25.

Sources told Deccan Herald that security agencies are investigating the possibility of insider information about the movement of the convoy.

“The militants chose an army vehicle in the convoy with unarmed soldiers for the lethal attack. The insider information about the particular vehicle of the convoy in which the soldiers were travelling without weapons can’t be ruled out,” said a source, adding that security agencies are investigating various angles that led to the targeting of that particular vehicle.

A senior police officer said militants have been successful in infiltrating into security forces’ ranks. He cited the example of constable Abdul Rashid Shigan and sub-inspector Shiv Kumar Sharma alias Sonu, who were working at the behest of militants, and were involved in some incidents in the state. They were apprehended by police subsequently.

“We can’t rule out more infiltrations in police. Such infiltrations do take place in the security force ranks in conflict situations,” said the officer, adding that militants have changed their strategy with the aim to inflict more casualties on security forces.

This year, there have been more lethal attacks in Kashmir Valley, with the casualty figure of security forces higher than the previous years. Since March this year, more than 30 security men have been killed in different attacks. Militants in most of these lethal attacks took security forces by surprise.

On March 13 this year, five Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed when militants launched a fidayeen (suicide) attack at their camp in Bemina here. Most of the CRPF personnel were without weapons as they were on law and order duty.

In Hygam Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, militants on April 26 attacked a police party and killed four policemen. The police party had gone to investigate a theft case, which the militants had faked.

In south Kashmir’s Tral area, four soldiers were killed when militants took them by surprise after trapping them on April 25.

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