Jammu and Kashmir police on Thursday said that Hizbul Mujahideen supremo based in Pakistan is desperate to destabilise Panchayat Raj institution in the Valley.
According to police the militant outfit planned to kill 5 sarpanches in the Valley before Eid next week. The aim was to create fear among Panchayati members and destabilise the system.
The revelations were made after police busted an HM module in North Kashmir and claimed to have solved many cases of attacks on panchs and sarpanches in the area.
Sopore police had arrested four local militants, who were planning to kill more panches and sarpanches in the coming days.
Police also claimed to have recovered many pistols from the accused.
The militants have been identified as Asif Dar and Aqib Ramzan, Fayaz Ahmad and Mehrajuddin, who were involved in killing of a SPO officer and attacking a local sarpanch.
Police also claimed it was the same module which killed sarpanch Habibullah Mir on January 11 and seriously injured a female panch Zuni Begum on January 12.
According to police the militants received orders directly from their handlers in Pakistan. "They had received orders directly from HM supremo Mohammad Yousuf Shah, popularly known as Syed Salahudin, based in Pakistan to kill the sarpanchs.
These orders are being passed through HM chief of the Valley Ab Qayoom Najar alias Jan Sahb,'' said Sopore SP Imtiaz Hussain.
``The mass participation of people in governance has frustrated him and he has directed his cadres to harm members of Panchayat Raj institutions by all means. It has also come to the knowledge of security agencies that a campaign of character assassination of members of Panchayat Raj Institutions is under way, being orchestrated with the help of Hurriyat (G) to build a case for their killing,'' said a police spokesman.
Serious efforts are on to neutralise the HM terrorist network active in North Kashmir areas of Handwara, Sopore, Naidkhai and Palhalan to ensure peace and order and put an end to incidents of terrorism.
On July 26, a sarpanch Khizar Mohammad Paray was fired upon by militants while coming out of themosque. Two days later an SPO Mudasir Ahmad was killed in the same area.
Investigations pointed to involvement of two more people Mehrajuddin and Gulzar Ahmad.
According to police the three accused Asif Ahmad Dar, Mehrajudin Rather and Fayaz Ahmad offered prayers in Jamia Masjid Krankshivan where Sarpanch Khizar Mohammad was also offering prayers.
"All the three came out of the mosque before the sarpanch and Asif Ahmad Dar with backup support of other two fired upon him from point blank. Assuming him to be dead they fled away from the spot,'' Hussain added.
``Asif and Aquib killed the SPO two days later,'' he added.
According to police one of the accused Asif Ahmad Dar has a history of drug addiction and stone pelting.
The second accused Aqib Ramzan is a school dropout. Mehrajudin Rather is an ex-militant who had gone to POK in 2000 for arms and ammunition training. After his return from POK he was arrested in Baramullah in 2003.