The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday claimed to have busted a module of terror outfit Lashkar-e- Toiba (LeT), which had been trying to revive militancy in the Chenab valley, with the arrest of seven persons, including a special police officer (SPO) and a former Territorial Army personnel.
The module was working to revive militancy in the Doda- Kishtwar-Ramban region of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
It added that with these arrests, it has also cracked the May 8 attack on a police post in Doda district.
Two special police officers—Mohammed Younis and Kikkar Singh—were injured in the said attack. While Mohammed Younis succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday, Kikkar Singh is being treated at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.
Inspector general of police (IGP), Jammu Zone, SDS Jamwal said, “After the attack on the Tanta police post in Gandoh area of Doda, a special investigation team (SIT) was constituted which visited the spot and conducted a preliminary investigation.”
Giving details, he said that acting on intelligence inputs the SIT picked up some suspects for questioning. Based on the information received from them, one Abdul Rashid Harga alias Abdullah, a resident of Tanta, was held. The IGP added that Abdul Rashid was an active LeT militant from 2001 through 2008, and had later surrendered. “Abdul Rashid was rearrested in 2013 and later bailed out in 2016. After sustained interrogation, he confessed his involvement in the attack and also disclosed name of his two associates: his younger brother Shoket Ali and Akthar Magary, a resident of Tanta,” the IGP said.
Following their interrogation, four more persons -- Bashir Ahmed, who was earlier part of Territorial Army, his nephew and SPO Altaf Ahmed, Shafqat Hussain and Hafiz -- were also arrested.
“An AK-47 rifle, three magazines and ammunition have been recovered from them,” the IGP said. “Abdul Rashid was in contact with one Bashir Ahmed, of Bangraw in Gandoh. Bashir Ahmed was earlier in the Territorial Army,” Jamwal said, and added “Bashir Ahmed has a nephew, Altaf Ahmed, who is a special police officer (SPO) in the J&K Police in Doda district. Bashir had asked Altaf to arrange a weapon for him and Altaf stole one AK-47 rifle, along with ammunition, from the district police line Doda in January 2017.”
According to the IGP, Altaf then handed over the weapon to Bashir Ahmed, who was in contact with Abdul Rashid Harga. On realising that the weapon given by Altaf belongs to the J&K Police, Bashir Ahmed asked Abdul Rashid to help him replace it with a similar weapon of any militant. The IGP further said that Abdul Rashid was in direct touch with his “Pakistani handler” Mohammad Amin alias Khubeb alias Haroon alias Pinna of the LeT. Furthermore, following the direction of Khubeb and other militant leaders from the Valley, Abdul Rashid, Akhter and Shokat had been enticing the youths of Tanta to join militancy.
On May 7, Abdul Rashid reportedly inspected areas around the Tanta police post and found that only two or three cops guard it. He then informed his associates about it and on the intervening night of May 7 and 8, they attacked the said post, injuring the two SPOs.
“Following the attack, they tried to set the post on fire. However, due to the quick reaction of the injured SPOs they fled,” said the IGP.
The police officer added that Rashid had been regularly conducting meetings in various areas of the Chenab Valley and motivating former militants and those who had surrendered to join militancy.
(With PTI inputs)