GURDASPUR, Punjab -- Preliminary investigation into the Gurdaspur police station attack that killed seven people seems to indicate that the group of suspected Lashker-e-Taiba militants had crossed over to the Indian side from Pakistan’s Shakargarh area, according to reports.
They had reportedly crossed over from Pakistan on July 26-27 night using Ravi river and they had more targets, the probe has found.
Analysis of the two GPS machines recovered from the three slain terrorists showed that the details of the routes and targets had been fed into these on July 21, sources in Punjab Police said here tonight.
"The initial data gathered from Global Positioning System (GPS) shows that the three terrorists started from a safe house in Gharot in Shakargarh, Pakistan on late Sunday night and crossed over to Bamiyal town in Pathankot, which is close to the international border," a source told PTI.
The terrorists entered India on the intervening night of July 26 and 27 and used Ravi river to cross over, the sources said. "This route of rivulets along the border was used by them as the security apparatus here is inadequate," the source said, adding from Bamiyal, they walked down to Amritsar-Jammu highway.
Writing for the Indian Express, Praveen Swami quoted unnamed sources as saying that the militants left a safehouse on the fringes of Gharot, a village near Shakargarh, late Sunday night.
Punjab Police chief Sumedh Singh Saini said the terrorists had taken the route from Dhussi Bandh (Ravi river) right along the International Border to the railway track where they planted bombs and then came to Dina Nagar. The bombs were detected on time and defused.
"As per their GPS system, they first planted bombs on railway track before snatching a car from a civilian and then gained entry into the police station of Dina Nagar," he said.
The GPS analysis has showed that the terrorists' targets included Dina Nagar, the railway track, SSP, Deputy Commissioner and the Army unit in Gurdaspur.
Sources in Delhi said the tracking point of one of the two GPS systems showed Talwandi point, Parmanand village and Dina Nagar as targets while the other system had Gurudaspur Civil Lines, implying that area was also the target.
He said 11 unused bombs had been recovered and five of them had been defused. Three AK-47 rifles, 17 magazines, 55 cartridges, one Rocket launcher, three hand grenades, bullet proof jackets, night vision device and heap of unused bullets were recovered from the site of the encounter, he said.
As part of the probe, a high-level forensic team today visited the abandoned building near the Dina Nagar police station earlier today where the terrorists had been holed up. The four-member team led by Davinder Pal Sehgal and Ashwani Kumar started their investigations, police said.
Director General of Punjab Police Sumedh Singh Saini had said the terrorists were carrying sophisticated weapons. "We have recovered 'Made in China' grenades from them.
They were wearing combat fatigues," he had said. Saini said AK 47 guns and hand grenades were recovered from the terrorists, who had attacked the sentry at the police station before engaging with the SHO and the SP.
He had described the attack as "planned" as their modus operandi pointed at a specific direction.
Seven persons -- Superintendent of Police (Detective), Baljit Singh, a Punjab provincial service officer and three home guards and three civilians -- were killed by the suspected terrorists yesterday.
Senior Superintendent of Police Gurdaspur Gurpreet Singh said the bodies of the militants have been kept at the civil hospital and their weapons were being examined. An alert has been sounded along the international border in Punjab and Jammu as the terrorists are suspected to have infiltrated from there.
Dina Nagar town, which is close to Pakistan, falls in Gurdaspur district. It is sandwiched between Gurdaspur town on the one side and Pathankot on the other and lies about 260 km from capital Chandigarh.
(With PTI inputs)