Lethpora: A Man looks towards the CRPF training camp during the second day of an encounter with fidayeen attackers in which five CRPF personnel and three militants were killed and three jawans injured,at Lethpora in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Monday.CRPF camp attack counter operation ends today with the killing of 3rd militant. PTI Photo by Umar Ganie
Srinagar, Jan 01: With killing of the third militant, an unidentified foreigner, the operation inside the Central Reserve Police Force camp at Lethpora, Pulwama, ended on Monday.
The government forces announced that over 30 hour-long gun battle was over, killing three militants and five CRPF personnel.
The militants carried out the attack at around 2:30 am on Sunday by storming inside the camp.
Two fidayeen of Jash-e-Mohammad were killed initially, and they were identified as Manzoor Ahmad Baba, son of Ali Mohammad Baba of Drubgam, Pulwama, and Fardeen Ahmad Khanday, son of Ghulam Mohammad Khanday, a serving police constable from Nazeen Pora, Tral.
The slain duo, police said, had joined militant ranks only three months ago. The forces said that identity of the third militant, who is a foreigner, was being ascertained.
In a post-operation press briefing, Special DGP CRPF, S N Shrivastava, said they had inputs that militants may carry out attacks in Kashmir, especially on the Lethpora camp.
“We anticipated such an attack. We have been upgrading security for a long time. We knew that Lethpora camp could be a probable attack,” Shrivastava said.
He said that during the night, when the militants carried out the attack, the Lethpora camp was on “high alert”.
“Large number of security personnel was patrolling. Even the in-charge of the battalion was on duty and patrolling. As they (militants) managed to enter, they were challenged. It was because of the alertness and professionalism shown by the unit that they caught limited to one or two buildings,” he said.
Asked why the CRPF failed to stop militants from entering the camp, he replied, “Lethapora campus is a large one. We turned it into a training facility this year. It is still under construction.”
Terming the operation “successful” for killing three militants, he said, “Our men fought bravely and showed high degree of professionalism. We had strengthened the security there, and that is why militants were confined to one to two buildings.”
He said that CRPF, army, and JK Police showed “high degree of coordination” during the operation.
“We had to suspend the operation due to darkness and it got extended so long. We killed two militants yesterday, and the third one today. Some amount of search operation is still going on to ensure that no militant is hiding inside the campus.”
“Three militants have been killed. Two local militants were killed on Sunday and the third one is a foreigner who was neutralized today. JK Police is ascertaining his identity.”
The fifth CRPF man had reportedly died due to heart attack.
When asked whether they would take some specific measures in view of Lethpora attack, he replied, “Security review is an ongoing process. We are doing it as per the situation and upgrading security accordingly.”
He said that security forces were ready to combat militancy in the valley. “We will take every measure whatever is required to eradicate militancy.”