NIA to probe Jhajjar-Kotli gunfight

Last Updated 21 September 2018, 11:44 IST

A National Investigating Agency (NIA) team has joined the ongoing probe into the Jhajjar-Kotli gunfight in Jammu’s Reasi district in which three Pakistani militants were killed on Thursday.

Sources IGP NIA Mukesh Singh, DIG NIA Ashish Choudhary and other senior officers reached Jammu from New Delhi on Friday to join the investigations of the militant attack along with local police officers. They visited the infiltration route taken by the militants and sight of attacks at Jhajjar Kotli and Kakryal, they said.

“The NIA team will be handed over investigations of two separate FIRs registered at Jhajjar-Kotli and Katra police stations in Jammu and Reasi districts respectively,” sources said, adding that the NIA has also taken possession of the bodies of the slain militants and recoveries made from the encounter site.

IGP NIA, Alok Mittal while confirming the development said they have associated themselves with the investigations being carried out into the Jhajjar-Kotli encounter. “We are waiting for orders from the ministry of home affairs to take over the case formally,” he said.

Three militants who had been intercepted at Jhajjar-Kotli along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway on Wednesday morning were killed on Thursday in a joint operation by the army, police and the central reserve police force. At least 12 security personnel including an army major, a deputy superintendent of police and a deputy commandant of CRPF were injured in the day-long operation.

A senior police officer privy to the case said the NIA team will also investigate to find out if there were any similarities between previous such attacks in Pathankot, Uri and Nagrota and the latest one.

“If there are any similarities that means the attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group which was responsible for Pathankot, Uri and Nagrota attacks,” he said.

Earlier, the NIA investigated an attack on a Border Security Force convoy in Udhampur area of Jammu province in August 2015, September 2016 Uri Army base attack in which 19 soldiers were killed and several other high profile cases.

The NIA is a central agency established by the Centre government to combat terror in India. The premier probe agency is empowered to deal with terror-related crimes across states without special permission from the states.

(Published 15 September 2018, 05:33 IST)

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