How Octopus commandos flushed out militants in 10-hr-long operation in Chittoor?
Chennai/Hyderabad/Bangalore: Octopus (Organisation For Counter Terrorist Operations) came into existence in August 2012. The elite commando force of 250 has been specially trained for in house intervention, hostage rescue and Israeli combat technique Krav Maga.
The team comprises of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams, and is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons.
The team came into existence with the objective of protecting major cities of Andhra Pradesh. About 100 commandos of the force have been tasked with to look after security of Tirupati temple.
On Saturday, the force had its first tryst with action, when it was credited with taking out two notorious terrorists, one of whom was wanted for targeting BJP party's senior leader LK Advani.
The operation started with a phone call to Octopus chief at 5:30 in the morning. The chief was asked to prepare his men for the battle. Within an hour 35 elite Octopus commandos- stationed at Tirumala-Tirupati and another team sent for Brahmotsavam at Dusshera Time- had moved to the location.
Meanwhile, the local police had already cordoned off the entire area surrounding the house in which the two militants- Ismail Panna and Bilal Malik were hiding.
Two policemen, dressed as milk vendors, knocked on the door. The knock was answered by a woman. A man, later identified by police as Malik, came out. The man got suspicious and quickly pulled the woman in and locked the door.
The police then tried to enter the house by breaking the grill and door at the entrance.
In the process, inspector Laksmanan was stabbed with a sharp object and additional SP T Senthil Kumar was injured with a tube light.
The attack prompted police to open fire, injuring Ismail.
The duo threatened to detonate bomb and use Maliks's wife and 3 children as shield.
The police treated the path cautiously and decided that they would have to first get out the woman and her 3 kids before launching a full assault. Faced with hostage crisis, the forces resorted to conventional technique of tiring out the hostage takers. The security forces were afraid of endangering the life of kids and the woman. Lack of information about the kind of weapons possessed by the militants further complicated the matters.
The hostage takers were engaged in negotiations as the forces devised ways to flush them out.
All possible exits were covered, with expert snipers positioned at critical places.
A joint team of octopus and local police led by Chittoor SP Kanti Rana Tata drilled two holes in the walls of the house.
These holes were used to drop tear gas inside the building, forcing Malik's wife and kids to walk out.
Finally, after 11-hour-long battle, the duo surrendered.
Two militants wanted in connection with a bid on the life of BJP leader LK Advani were flushed out of their residence in Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor.