J&K militants may have stocked ammo before attack

J&K militants may have stocked ammo before attack

Pampore ultras had used building to launch strike

J&K militants may have stocked ammo before attack

A day after the fierce gunfight on the outskirts of Srinagar ended, intelligence agencies believe that the militants might have already stocked ammunition in the multi-storey building from where they gave a “tough fight” to security forces.

Five security personnel, including two Army captains, were killed in one of the deadliest encounters in recent years, when three militants stormed the Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) building on Srinagar-Jammu national highway near Pampore on Saturday evening. The encounter lasted three days. Five security personnel, a civilian and all the three attackers were killed in the 48-hour encounter.

Police sources told Deccan Herald that it was literally impossible for three militants to have given so much of resistance with mere backpacks of ammunition with them.
On February 20, after opening fire on a CRPF convoy on the highway, which left two CRPF personnel dead and over a dozen injured, the trio had sneaked into the nearby EDI complex, a concrete six-storey structure.

The militants had asked the employees to leave the office even as they took positions at advantageous heights. The employees were, however, asked to leave behind their belongings, particularly mobile phones.

A senior police officer who had remained on forefront of anti-militancy operations in recent years said: “Having seen the armed guerrillas equipped with backpacks, we thought this much of ammunition wouldn’t last beyond few hours. But as the gunfire erupted, militants peppered hundreds of bullets while an equally big number of explosives like grenades were traded.”

A group of elite paratroopers led by Captain Pawan Kumar, a 23-year-old officer, stormed the main building past midnight around 2 am. But militants rained bullets and explosives, following which Captain Kumar was critically injured and succumbed to injuries later.
Till Sunday afternoon, there was another huge exchange of gunfire.

 Hoping that the militants could be exhausted, the Army again stormed the building. This time, Captain Tushar Mahajan, 26, a resident of Udhampur, was hit by a volley of bullets while mop-up operations were being conducted on the third floor of the building.