Srinagar: Fearing more fidyaeen attacks in Srinagar, the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has begun fortifying its camps and bases in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
“We have started fortifying our camps and buildings in Srinagar,” CRPF spokesman Rajesh Yadav told Kashmir Reader. “We are revamping our security arrangements. We are also putting up technical equipment and CCTV cameras so that surveillance is maintained to ward off future attacks,” he said.
The CRPF is making these preparations after the attack on the 23 Battalion headquarters at Karan Nagar this week. The attack led to a 30-hour-long gunfight, during which the CRPF used heavy weaponry including hundreds of grenades, to counter the militants. The battle left three persons, two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants and one CRPF trooper, dead.
Yadav said that buildings surrounding the CRPF camps were being sanitised regularly.
“The Jammu and Kashmir Police is also conducting this exercise now,” he said.
“We had some general information that militants will stage a fidyaeen attack in Srinagar,” Yadav said of the Karan Nagar attack. “We had no clear idea where the militants were moving. It was due to this fact that the sentry was alert on the day of the encounter. He saw the movement of militants who were carrying backpacks. He fired when he saw the suspicious movement.”
The CRPF spokesman said that investigations were still on to ascertain the identity of the militants, who he said were “foreigners”.
“The JK Police is on the job,” Yadav said. “They are also investigating as to how the militants were able to sneak into Srinagar.”
Giving a clearer picture of the encounter on Monday, he said the sentry of the CRPF opened a warning fire when he saw suspicious movement. “The sentry saw two men carrying backpacks trying to enter the camp at 4:30am. Later we started search operations to sanitise the area. As it was snowing, footmarks could be easily traced. We were almost sure the armed persons were in the surroundings,” he said.
As the morning approached, at about 9am, suddenly the militants opened fire from an under-construction building nearby, which led to the death of CRPF trooper Mujahid Khan, Yadav said.
“He was in open area when the bullet struck him,” Yadav said. “Then ensued the encounter.”
Yadav said the building provided a safe shelter to the militants who had less ammunition to engage the forces. “We overpowered them without further casualties,” Yadav said.