Ahmedabad: Recent purported claims by Home Ministry officials that three of 10 terrorists who had infiltrated from Pakistan had been killed, has been dismissed by intelligence agencies and Gujarat police, as per a media report.
It was said that the militants had been killed in a western state on the basis of a March 5 tip-off by Pakistani national security adviser Naseer Janjua to his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.
However, as per a report in Hindustan Times, nine men initially suspected by investigators to be part of those infiltrators as they left behind suspicious articles at two Gujarat guest houses later turned out to be ATM thieves from Jharkhand.
The report also said that as per agencies not one of the ten 10 terrorists had either been traced or eliminated.
Also, there has been no communication intercept or physical clue of cross-border infiltration by men belonging to either the Jaish-e-Mohammed or the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
On Tuesday, it was reported that security agencies had killed three of the 10 suspected Pakistani terrorists who had allegedly entered Gujarat recently to carry out attacks on high-value targets.
As per PTI, top official sources had said that the three were neutralised in a western state last Friday before they could carry out any attack in the country.
The remaining seven terrorists had also been zeroed in their hideouts and operation is on to neutralise them, the sources had said.
The group, all suspected to be Pakistani terrorists belonging to LeT and JeM, had planned to attack the Somnath temple in Gujarat during Shivratri on March 7 besides other targets, they said.
Immediately after the intelligence input about the infiltration of the terrorists was received, the Centre had dispatched four NSG teams to Gujarat and they were put in different locations in the state.
An alert was sounded in Gujarat and all metros by central security agencies following reports about infiltration of the terrorists.
An advisory was issued to enhance security at all strategic locations, sensitive industrial sites and religious places after intelligence inputs suggested that the terrorists had entered Gujarat taking the sea route.
A similar alert was also sent to Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chandigarh.
HT has written that as per their investigations, following a high alert being sounded in Gujarat, nine men were found to be missing from two guest houses in Bhuj, Swagat and Sagaar.
They men had fled without paying the rent or providing any forwarding address.
The report further says that counter-terror operatives along with the Bhuj police found suspicious equipment such as an acetylene gas cylinder and a gas cutter in their rooms.
The men were identified as Nadeem Naseem Siddiqi, Jayalu Majid Sheikh, Jamil Akhtar, Anarul Imtiaz Sheikh, Shahnawaz M Ansari, Mohammad Minarul Sheikh and Kabir Jadir Sheikh and reportedly hailed from Pakur district in Jharkhand.
“A team of Kutch police visited Pakur district and investigations have so far revealed that they were ATM thieves. Their modus operandi was to hijack the entire ATM machine and then use a gas cutter to recover money,” Gujarat border range inspector general AK Jadeja was quoted as saying by HT.
Jadeja added that after their identities were confirmed by Jharkhand police, prima facie it was ruled out that they were the suspected ten militants who had entered Gujarat.
The report said that per the Bhuj police all nine were also arrested by Arnala police of Palgarh district in September 2015 in connection with ATM theft.
“One group had arrived in Bhuj on February 29 and another on March 3. They also had been to tourist places like Mandvi beach and had done camel riding for recreation. We are doing investigation if they were involved in any of the ATM thefts reported in the state,” police was further quoted as saying by the Daily.
(With Agency inputs)