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Terror rears its head in J&K a day after Imran Khan's ‘bloodbath' warning

By Vishal S

Srinagar, Sep 28: After over 50 days of relative lull, a major terror incident took place in Jammu and Kashmir today. This is the first terror incident of this big scale since August 5 when Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was scrapped.

Three terrorists were eliminated today while an Army jawan was martyred in an operation in the Batote area along the Jammu-Kishtwar national highway.

Representational Image

Now this comes a day after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had in his UNGA speech said "there will be another attack like Pulwama" once the curfew is lifted in Kashmir.

The terror incident comes at a time when Jammu and Kashmir is slowly returning back to normalcy after Article 370's abrogation. The terrorists clearly do not want normalcy to return as that would prove beyond doubt that scrapping Article 370 was a right decision by Modi government.

[Modi speaks about 'Buddha' while Imran Khan threatens nuclear war]

In the last few days, multiple intelligence agencies warned the government that at least 60 terrorists have infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir and another 500 are waiting to infiltrate. Earlier this week, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said that the Balakot terrorist camp, which the IAF had bombed in February, had been revived and terrorists are looking to cross over the border disrupt peace in the Valley.

Coincidentally, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had warned of a blood bath in Kashmir in his UNGA speech on Friday evening.

"If people come out on the streets, Army will shoot them. We do hear about pellet guns being used on the people of Kashmir. But after the curfew is lifted in Kashmir, there will be another attack like Pulwama and Pakistan will be blamed. If there's a bloodbath, Muslims will become radicals. You are forcing Muslims into radicalisation," Imran Khan said on Friday.

By deploying forces in large numbers, the government ensured that no untoward incident takes place following the scrapping of Article 370. People faced some inconveniences but by and large the move was welcomed as would usher development in the valley. The phone line which were disconnected are being restored and most of the restrictions have been lifted.

[Ramban encounter: 3 terrorists gunned down, hostage rescued. one Army personnel martyred]

The administration is in the process of lifting curbs on mobile services imposed in J&K following the abrogation of Article 370. Internet has remained suspended in J&K from August 4 onwards, a day before the decision to abrogate Article 370 was taken.

Sources had told OneIndia lastt week that all efforts were being made to restore mobile services in Jammu and Kashmir on September 27, the day both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan would address the UN General Assembly in New York.

The Ramban encounter:

Today at about 7.30 am, two suspicious individuals tried to stop a civilian vehicle at the general area Batote on the highway. The driver was alert, did not stop the vehicle and rushed and informed the nearest Army post. The quick reaction team reacted promptly and contact was established with the suspicious individuals, PTI quoted an Army Officer as saying.

During the nine-hour long search operation, the terrorists were encircled by the search parties inside a house in the main market after they managed their escape from the scene of the earlier encounter in the highway town in Ramban district.

Earlier, a police spokesman said a group of five terrorists are trapped in the town. The trapped terrorists had fired at the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of the Army in the morning and tried to escape but were chased by the security forces and encircled in a house, he said. The officials said the fresh exchange of fire started between the holed up terrorists and the security forces at around 1 pm after intense search operation despite inclement weather.

[Mobile services set to be restored in Jammu and Kashmir]

The house owner was believed to be trapped inside the house and efforts are on to evacuate him to safety, while his other family members have been evacuated to safety after they managed to come out, they said, adding the ultras had forced their entry into the house while being chased by the security forces.

In the morning, the terrorists hurled a grenade and opened fire at the QRT at Dharmund village, leading to a brief exchange of fire. Reinforcements were immediately rushed and the whole area was cordoned off to neutralise the terrorists, who are believed to have come from the Kishtwar side and had reportedly spent the night at an abandoned temporary shelter shed on the highway, the officials said.

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