Published on: 1/3/2016

Here's how terrorists reached Pathankot Air Base

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Attackers of the BSF convoy, Udhampur

route of the attack Udhampur

Based on interrogatin, here's the route that that Udhampur attacker Mohammad Naved alias Usman and his accomplice took, to enter and travel unnoticed in Jammu & Kashmir for almost 45 days before striking the BSF convoy. Soon after leaving Halan in Pakistan on May 27, this was their journey.  

Chursoon, Pulwama district of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir

Udhampur attack
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Ashiq Bhat alias Obaida received them and arranged for their travel to Chursoo in Awantipora. Here they stayed at the house of locals, whose identity is being withheld so as not to affect further investigations, for 4 days. 

Khrew, Pulwama district 

For the next 40 days, which coincided with Ramzan, they hid at Khrew along with three other freshly-infiltrated militants. The hideout was visited by several cadres of LeT based in south Kashmir. 

Kakapur

It was only on July 23 that five militants — Naved, Dujana, Shahin Gulzar, Shoket Lone and Abu Ukasha — were picked up from the house and taken away in a truck. Naved and Dujana reached Kakapura and met a local bakery shop owner and overground worker, who arranged a vehicle for their further travel. 

Khudwani village, Kulgam district, 

Naved was handed over to a militant Hamza who dropped him at Khudwani along with the overground worker from Kakapur. Hamza took Naved and the overground worker to the house of a local who runs a welding shop near a school at Redwani. 

Ramban - Tamator

Naved and Noman left for Jammu after an exhaustive briefing by Qasim. They crossed the toll plaza at 2.15am and reached Ramban, where they bought two bags and eatables.  They stayed the night at Tamator, cooked and placed their weapons in the bags. 

Udhampur attack terrorist
PTI

The next morning they left for Jammu. They got off at Samroli, had tea at Kashmiri hotel and headed towards their target, a BSF convoy.

Gurdaspur

Analysis of data from two GPS sets recovered from the Punjab attackers has thrown up two routes that the terrorists were supposed to take to reach Dinanagar in Gurdaspur. 

Two points of entry

Gurdaspur attack
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While both originate from Pakistan, they indicate different points of entry into India through the Punjab border. Both the routes, however, merge a few kilometres before Dinanagar.  Border Security Force (BSF), National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) and other intelligence agencies are now saddled with the difficult task of ascertaining which route the terrorists actually took to reach Dinanagar. 

Gurdaspur army attack
pti

Sources said the two GPS sets were fed with two different routes on July 21 at Sargodha near Faisalabad. 

Route 1

map of entry pakistan

One of the GPS sets shows a route originating from Mastgarh in Pakistan's Gujrat near Jammu border and then crossing the Jammu-Punjab-Pakistan tri-junction to enter Pathankot after crossing a rivulet merging into Ravi river. It then moves southwards to Dinanagar. 

Route 2

map of entry

Another route shows Malowal in Pakistan's Gujrat as the starting point and then shows Dorangla, 170 km south of Malowal, in India's Punjab. The next marked place is the same as the first GPS set. Going by this route, agencies believe that entry could have been made through Narowal in Pakistan. Here too the terrorists are suspected to have crossed a tributary of Ravi to enter India. 

Curiously, the two entry points mentioned in the two sets are 40 km apart. It is important to ascertain the gap exploited by the terrorists so that a pattern of infiltration is established and the gaps plugged accordingly. 

GPS confirms infiltration. BSF says no

This is the first time that functional GPS sets have been recovered from slain terrorists in recent history and thus confirm breach on the Punjab border. In 2013, a similar GPS set was recovered from terrorists who allegedly crossed the Jammu border and launched an attack in Samba. This set, however, was damaged by a bullet and data could not be retrieved. BSF, which manned the Jammu border, had then denied that infiltration had taken place through the Jammu border. 

BSF DG DK Pathak on Wednesday camped in Punjab surveying the Indo-Pak border to assess its vulnerability to infiltration as also to find out where the terrorists may have sneaked in from. BSF sources, however, said even after a thorough inspection of the border based on GPS coordinates, there were no tell-tale signs of infiltration anywhere along Ravi. 

Agencies are now scanning call intercepts and satellite imagery to reach a conclusion on the route the three terrorists may have actually taken to reach Dinanagar.

(Originally published in the Times of India)
With Inputs from Bharti Jain & Deeptiman Tiwary | Original article published in Times Of India suitably modified


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