After failing to bring foreign militants into Kashmir, Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) is now trying to recruit local boys to keep the pot of militancy boiling in the valley. Police claimed on Wednesday to have busted a LeT module in north Kashmir by arresting seven people, including fresh recruits, from different areas of Sopore town, 55 km north of Srinagar.
The police said the LeT module, headed by a Pakistani militant, was recruiting local boys to build a network.
Identifying the Pakistani militant as Fahadullah, the police claimed that he was the only surviving active LeT militant of the Pakistani origin in Sopore. He would indoctrinate local boys to join militancy. The police said he would have sent boys to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for training on legal documents.
The Sopore superintendent of police (SP) said facing dearth of foreign militants, the LeT was desperate to recruit the local youth of Kashmir by indoctrinating them with radical ideology.
The local boys were recruited into the outfit to carry out various militant actions in and around Sopore by Fahadullah.
After being indoctrinated with the Jihadi ideology, the group members had formally joined LeT organisation and were provided the communication gadgets and weaponry.
Before being baptised into the organisation, the members of the module were assigned with various tasks of couriering the weapons and money, identifying the targets vis-a-vis security installations and arranging communication devices.
Some of the members of the module were preparing to visit Pakistan on legal documents to get further training in bomb making and other activities, while others were preparing other militant actions including grenade attacks on VIP rallies and attacks on police and security forces.
The SP said those arrested included Umar Rashid Shala alias Khan alias Faisal, Shabir Ahmad Shosha alias Waseem, Farooq Ahmad Sheikh alias Sajad, Mudasir Majeed Dar alias Ammar, Amir Bashir War alias Mahi, Reyaz Ahmad Dhobi and Maroof Ahmad Lone.
The SP said the seizures included Pika gun, 85 rounds of ammunition, two Chinse pistols with two magzines and nine rounds, one UBGL with six shells, two detonators, one rocket launchers and four hand grenades.
During investigation, it was found that the module was commanded by Fahadullah who was operating under the direct command and control of Hanzallah, based in Pakistan.
Besides, the police thanked people of the area for providing timely inputs that led to the arrest of the gang and thus a major tragedy was averted.
Police have requested people to keep a close watch over their children and keep them away from elements who instigate them for terrorism and violence, the SP said.