Pak will pay for Jammu attack: DM

Sitharaman said that Ministry of Defence is likely to move Supreme Court over FIR against army major in connection with Shopian killings.

IANS/ YOGESH SAGOTRA
Jammu, Publish Date: Feb 13 2018 12:26AM | Updated Date: Feb 13 2018 1:57AM
Pak will pay for Jammu attack: DMGK Photo

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said militants who killed five soldiers and a civilian at Sunjwan Military Station in Jammu were Pakistanis and warned that Pakistan will have to pay for the attack. "Pakistan will have to pay for this misadventure," Sitharaman told reporters here. The deaths of "our soldiers won't go in vain".

The minister was in Jammu to take stock of the situation at the Sunjuwan Army camp which was stormed by three heavily armed militants on Saturday morning.

The operation was called off on Monday morning after the three attackers were killed. A fourth one, she said, may have been a guide and didn't enter the military base.

Sitharaman said the three slain militants were all Pakistanis and were handled by their Jaish-e-Muhammad leaders across the border. "The demography of the cantonment and the adjoining area indicates the possibility of local support to the militants."

The Minister asserted that evidences related to Jaish's involvement in the attack would be shared with Pakistan. "Giving evidence to Pakistan is a continuous process. It will have to be proved over and over again that they are responsible." 

She said giving evidence to Pakistan would not prevent the Indian Army from responding "appropriately and at a time we deem fit".

She said, “JeM module which conducted the attack may have infiltrated sometime back and there is a possibility of them having enjoyed local support before the final operation.”

“Militants had chosen to attack a military station, which houses both troops and families of the Indian Army,” she said.

“An alert had been sounded on the likelihood of militant attack around this period. Accordingly, Quick Reaction Teams (QRT) were positioned in vulnerable areas. It was assessed that militants may target softer elements, hence a QRT was also positioned at the Sunjwan family accommodation,” she added.

The Defence Minister said the intrusion of the militants inside the Cantonment was promptly detected by the sentry and challenged by the nearest available QRT, leading to a brief exchange of fire. This immediate action compelled the militants to split into single individuals thereby preventing a coordinated strike. “The scattered militants then rushed towards their pre-designated target of the family quarters and occupied some of the accommodation blocks. They were then isolated. Since the militants were dressed in battle fatigues and had similar appearance to their possible target victims, the operation had to be done deliberately to eliminate the possibility of any mistaken identity or collateral damage,” she added.

Earlier, the Minister undertook an aerial survey of the Army station and visited the Army Hospital in Jammu city where those injured in the attack are being treated.

 

ASSURES SUPPORT TO ARMY MAJOR: 

Meanwhile, Sitharaman said that Ministry of Defence is likely to move Supreme Court over FIR against army major in connection with Shopian killings.

“Father of the Major got stay for 15 days against FIR from the Supreme Court. We have to see how it goes," she said. “We stand by with our soliders and army,” she said, adding, “If they have performed something in line of duty it has to be contextualized.”

“Responding in the Supreme Court against FIR is subject to verification but MoD will possibly have to respond,” she added.

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