Basharat Peer in Jammu
Three days after terrorists massacred 27 labourers at Qasim Nagar shanty town in Jammu, the state police on Tuesday claimed its first success with the arrest of three people.
"We have picked up three persons in this connection. They are locals and are being interrogated. We are hopeful of a breakthrough. But at the moment not much can be disclosed," Deputy Inspector General of Police Dilbagh Singh said.
The police had failed to arrest any of the assailants, described by survivors as 19-20 years old.
The police will soon begin its second search of the nearby Rekka forest "for clues" but does not have high hopes of finding the terrorists there.
"The terrorists had come through the forest. We have found some clues and are working on them. For instance, we found some fresh banana peels inside an abandoned forest guesthouse. It suggests that they had stayed there the night before the attack," Singh told rediff.com.
Immediately after the shootout in Qasim Nagar, the J&K police chief A K Suri had said he suspected the involvement of banned terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
"We are referring to the LeT because of our experience. The modus operandi and the nature of the attack suggest its involvement. Plus we had intelligence inputs that some Lashkar modules were trying to regroup in Jammu and involve some locals too," Singh said.
He believes that one of the terrorists was a local, as it is very difficult for an outsider to master the hilly route they had followed.
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