Sidhra military Op: Burnt truck ferrying militants may become hurdle in investigation, say Officials

Armed forces near Military operation site in Sidhra Jammu.

Jammu: Days after four militants were killed in a military operation in Sidhra area of Jammu, the intelligence agencies expressed concern over the burnt truck used by the militants, which they termed as ‘destruction of evidence’, stating that the damaged truck may become a hurdle in the ongoing investigation.

Meanwhile, police have launched massive search operations in several areas, including at the general bus stand and railway station, to track down the missing truck driver, who managed to flee from the spot amid the operation.

Pleading anonymity, a senior officer from the intelligence agency said that the truck used for the transportation of militants was the main evidence from which the investigation could have proceeded further.

“The vehicle loaded with husk ferrying militants caught fire in the initial exchange and almost turned to ashes within no time despite the best effort of dousing the fire and saving the evidence,” he said. “Whenever the militants infiltrate for some assignment, they carry food packets (with marking), maps, papers-plans, coded sheets and I –Day cards, which are used to establish their identity and links with militant outfits. In this case, everything turned to ashes, the entire crime spot was burnt and later earth mover pressed in and demolished the remaining traces, which definitely would create hurdles in the investigation and establishing the identity of four killed militants.”

Earlier, after the operation, Additional Director General of Police, Jammu Zone, Mukesh Singh said “identity of the militant was not established yet. The number plate of the truck was fake. The engine and chassis number has also been tampered with and the help of forensic teams will be sought in this regard,” he had said.

Moreover, the Special Operations Group (SOG) and Crisis Response Team (CTR) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police launched a massive search near the operation site and forest areas to nab the only alive witness of the driver who managed to flee from the spot.

Forces cordoned Bajalta Forest, Mohmaya Forest, and way heading towards Nagotra and carried out a thorough search operation, the official said, adding the operation is still underway and further details are awaited.

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the entire route was also sought and station house officers were directed to minutely observe the footage and keep watch on suspicious activities.

Armed forces were also seen checking the identity cards of commuters at bus stands and Jammu railway station. The officials said that sniffer dogs were also pressed into service and efforts are on to nab the driver and also identify the owner of the truck.

The highway security grid has beefed up and search is being done at bus stands, railway stations, and marketplaces, while all checkpoints have also been alerted.

“Other scientific and electronic evidence is being collected to identify the militant group behind the transportation of the militants and to identify the Over Ground Workers (OGW) support structure of the militants (in Jammu region),” he said. (KNO)


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