Ahmedabad, Sept. 25: A letter pulled out from the blood-soaked pocket of one of the slain attackers said they were avenging the Gujarat riots.
Written in Urdu, the letter said Tehreek is a “movement for revenge”. “Gujarat mein Mussalmanon ke saath jo suluk kiya, uska badla lenge. Agar aur bhi zulm hue, to aur zyada.” (The movement will avenge the cruelty meted out to Muslims in Gujarat. If the ill-treatment continues, the retaliation will be more serious.)
Barely out of their teens, clean-shaven and clad in expensive clothes and sports shoes, the duo has shaken police with their “motivation” and “professionalism”.
Brigadier Raj Seetapathy of the National Security Guard, who led the commando operation, said: “They were obviously very well trained and highly motivated. The very fact that we found dry fruits on their person to last them at least another 48 hours and ammunition close to 360 rounds means they were prepared for more.”
Between the two of them, the attackers battled hordes of policemen, State Reserve Police jawans and BSF and NSG commandos for close to 12 hours and killed three of them.
The attackers were carrying AK assault rifles with six magazines each. A magazine has 30 rounds. They were also armed with a huge cache of plastic grenades, 25 of which were lobbed at pilgrims and policemen. “These grenades are of Australian make and are mostly used by infiltrators in the Kashmir Valley,” Seetapathy said.
The gunmen managed to breach the security in the maximum alert zone housing the Raj Bhavan, the chief minister’s residence and the legislature. “We have to take their threat seriously,” said DGP K. Chakravarthy.