#UriAttack: NIA suspects insider’s hand in helping attackers enter, reach barracks

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR: National Investigation Agency (NIA), that has begun a probe into Sunday’s fidayeen attack in which 18 soldiers died and around 20 sustained injuries, is suspecting the hand of an “insider” in facilitating the militants’ entry into the Brigade headquarters and guiding them to the encampment’s most vulnerable place, Jammu-based State Times reported.

Contrary to Army’s official versions, NIA has observed that it was not a “tent” but three regular barracks full of arms, ammunition, logistics and transit personnel that had been bolted from outside and set on fire by the militants. According to sources familiar with the investigation, three barracks perished in the devastating fire denying inmates a chance to escape. Those who did were gunned down outside.

NIA has collected samples of a particular kind of gun powder that is believed to have been sprinkled by the militants before setting the barracks on fire. The samples, sources said, has been sent to a laboratory for chemical and ballistic analysis. Horrible pictures of the slain soldiers, which are in possession of STATE TIMES but are not to be published, make it clear that most of the fatal casualties occurred due to severe burning.

Of the 18 soldiers killed, as many as 13 bodies are completely or partly charred. Doctors treating the injured at Army’s 92 Base Hospital said that 14 of them have burn injuries.

The NIA sleuths have noticed that the intruders have sneaked into the garrison with a possible support from inside and proceeded straight to the barracks where the troops of the incoming 6-Bihar regiment and the outgoing 10-Dogra regiment had been lodged. On Saturday, the Brigade commander had briefed them about the replacement. This timing is said to be “most crucial” at an army camp as during the transit procedure a terrorist strike becomes easy.

In total contrariness to the Army claim, which said that the fidayeen lobbed 17 grenades in the first three minutes, NIA sleuths have noticed that the intruders have silently set on fire the arms and ammunition store (kote) containing IEDs, grenades and other explosive material. A large quantity of kerosene oil was also inside a barrack. An oil tanker containing diesel was also parked beside a barrack. It has also perished in the fire, leading to fatal casualties around.

Sources said that most of the soldiers, who included four chefs and a painter, have died in the fire. Some of them have also been hit by splinters flinging out of the ammunition depot.

“This can’t be possible without a thorough recce on inside guidance. How does an outsider know about the most vulnerable spot at a camp?”, said an official familiar with the investigation. He said that call details and other technological sources were being analysed to find if an insider had guided the militants”.

Courtesy: State Times (Published on September 21, 2016)