The Jammu and Kashmir Government on Friday said the attack on Chanj police post near Basantgarh in Udhampur district might not be a militant strike, but a result of a tiff between SPOs and members of the local village development council (VDC).
”It may not be a terrorist attack at all. We are getting the facts verified,” Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh told The Indian Express.
There had been a problem between SPOs and local VDC members, he pointed out in an apparent reference to the exchange of fire between the two groups in Basantgarh area nearly a decade ago. One person had died in that shootout.
Earlier, the attack on the police post on Thursday night was believed to another terror strike, a day after two Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists from Pakistan attacked a BSF convoy near Chenani on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway and killed two personnel.
While senior police officers remained tightlipped over the incident, sources said Udhampur senior superintendent of police Suleman Choudhary visited Chanj in the morning and talked to SPOs, VDC members and villagers about the gunbattle. He also collected the bullets purportedly exchanged between the two sides for forensic examination.
At the time of the attack, the post had only four SPOs belonging to the Muslim community. There also were 37 VDC members from the same community, sources said, adding that a picket of security forces is also located in the proximity. In view of such a strong presence of police, security forces and VDC members, the chances of terrorists attacking the post appeared remote.
The matter is being investigated, the sources said, adding that senior police officers are looking for the reasons that led to firing. Regularisation of service and promotion could be among various reasons for the incident, they said in apparent reference to SPOs getting a meager Rs 3,000 salary per month.