Srinagar, January 1
Claiming that they had “anticipated” an attack on the Lethpora camp, a seniormost officer of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in J&K today said it was because of this prior information that the militants were not able penetrate deep inside into the campus and were cornered in a building.While the combing operation on the 160-acre Lethpora campus in south Kashmir’s Pulwama is still underway, the 37-hour gunfight at the CRPF camp ended on Monday with the killing of a third militant, who appears to be a foreigner. Four CRPF men were killed in the gunfight on Sunday and an officer died due to a cardiac arrest after a group of fidayeen, including two locals, stormed the camp.“We knew that this (CRPF camp) would be a probable target. The night the attack took place, the entire campus was on a high alert. A large number of people were on duty and there were patrolling parties. Even the in charge of battalion was on duty and patrolling. As soon as they managed to get in, they were challenged. It was because of the alertness and professionalism shown by the unit, the militants got limited to only one or two buildings,” Special Director General, CRPF, SN Srivastava, told reporters in Srinagar while briefing about the operation.He said his men fought bravely and showed a high degree of professionalism and finally all three militants were killed. Srivastava denied there was any security lapse as militants were not able to come deep inside the campus. He said the security of the camp had already been upgraded and security review of the installation was a regular process.“Security review is an ongoing process and we do upgrade as per requirement,” he said. Srivastava said the search operation was continuing on the campus. “Since this is a big campus, search operation is still going on. We want to discount any chance of anybody hiding anywhere. Though chances are bleak, we want to be doubly sure before we call off the operation,” he said.