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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

Lessons from Samba: govt plans to improve army-cops coordination

Shishir Gupta , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 04, 2013
First Published: 10:04 IST(4/10/2013) | Last Updated: 10:06 IST(4/10/2013)

The government is exploring options to integrate communications between the army and the Jammu & Kashmir Police (J&KP) for transmitting terrorist alerts in real time to prevent the September 26 Samba type attacks.

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While director general (J&KP) Ashok Prasad had to take pointed questions at the Union home ministry on Thursday on their response to the attack, the fact is that the Hiranagar police station — after being attacked by three terrorists — issued a wireless alert but it did not reach the 16th Cavalry unit at Samba as the two are not linked.

The Samba army unit is under administrative control of the local brigade but operationally reports to the armoured division based in Pathankot.

The home ministry analysis reveals that the agencies involved are busy passing the buck. The BSF is not ready to admit that the three terrorists infiltrated from the Shap nullah across the international border; the JK&P is not conceding that it didn’t retaliate at the Hiranagar police station, where SHO Daljit Singh has been suspended since he allegedly fled through a window as soon as the attack started at 6.45am.

The Punjabi-speaking terrorists commandeered a truck for Samba, before pushing driver Mohammed Maqbool out and telling him to pick up the vehicle later from the highway.

Maqbool later told the police that he found the truck parked on the highway near Samba and, when he drove back towards Hiranagar police station, nobody stopped him despite the truck number and attack alert flashing.

With the 16th Cavalry unit not alert to the attack, the three terrorists easily entered its premises after killing the sole sentry on guard.

To worsen the situation, the armoured unit was not trained in close-quarter combat and a tank had to be used to take out the terrorists. The terrorists were killed only after a quick reaction team of 2 Sikh Light Infantry reached the spot.


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