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Accurate human intelligence and cell phone tracing helped forces track down militants in Shopian

As the clock struck 10:30 on Saturday night, the villagers at Dragad saw an unusual moment of a group of at least 11 young men with guns hanging on their shoulders. Many of them had rucksacks, tightly tied to their backs. A few of them had long hair and beard. They were all young, seemingly in mid-twenties and looking for a place to sit and relax.

A few of them walked towards a residential house and the rest followed. But the moment they went inside the house, the area was cordoned off. Soon, the people saw army men in large numbers along with the men from special operation group of police (SOG) marching towards the house.

The police say it was “the accurate human intelligence” that helped them track the militants down.

“We also traced cell phones of the militants to get the exact location,” said a police officer. “A call made by one of the militants to more of his associates to join them at the house proved very effective in zeroing in on the house.”

A top police official who didn’t want to be identified  that it looked like there was a joint meeting of HizbulMujhaideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba cadres to plan their future strategy. “I would say, first the mobile call made by the militant asking more militants to join the meeting and then the human intelligence proved to be very helpful,” he said.

A police source said that the police and army have recently updated the mobile call tracking system  which  gets them “the exact locations of the militants”.

Director General of Police Shesh Paul Vaid said that since all the seven militants killed at Dragad were locals, it was painful to see them dead. “They were given a chance to surrender, but they refused and instead opened fire,” he said. “I request all the youth not to tread the path of violence.”

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