The recovery of a pair of handcuffs from the bodies of one of the three terrorists, who stormed Hiranagar police station in Kathua and 16th Cavalry unit at Samba, indicates that the attackers may have had plans to take Army troops as hostages on September 26. The handcuffs are part of recoveries by Jammu and Kashmir Police.
It is learnt that the three Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) terrorists were not carrying anything that could incriminate Pakistan as even the recovered drugs were from Abbot Laboratories, USA. There were apparently no Pakistan markings on either the assault rifles or the UBGL grenades used in the attack. A pair of wire-cutters was also recovered from them.
Asked about the handcuffs, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah told HT “it was an operation of the Army.” State DGP Ashok Prasad was not available for comments. Jammu-based Army PRO said, “Recovery of handcuffs is unusual but only the terrorists can tell you why......we recovered rations, 320 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, three AK rifles, 70 AK magazines, 1 UBGL grenade and a revolver.”
Counter-terrorism experts said a recovered global positioning system (GPS) device has been sent to Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Chandigarh to establish the route the terrorists took to infiltrate across the international border in Kathua. The GPS was sent to CFSL as the Army could not download any data from the severely damaged device.
The BSF, which patrols the international border, is adamant that the terrorists did not cross the border under their watch claiming that no part of the fence was cut. While two terrorists were gunned down by Army’s quick reaction team around 12:30 pm, the third was apparently killed around 4:30 pm after a sporadic firefight inside the 16th Cavalry premises.
“As no handcuffs are missing from Hiranagar police station after the attack, it is presumed that the third terrorist was carrying them to take hostages,” said a senior official.