A major plan of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) to carry out a militant attack on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, which connects the valley with the rest of the country, has been averted by the police.
According to the Srinagar-based police spokesman of the zonal headquarters, an operation was started in Dooru in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district when suspicious movement of individuals carrying weapons like AK-47 was reported from the area this week.
Working on specific information, the Anantnag police assisted by CRPF’s 40 Battalion, the army’s 9 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) intercepted a vehicle on the highway on Tuesday.
“Mohammad Hussain Wani, a resident of Khushipora Dialgam, was arrested during the operation,” said the spokesman.
During questioning, the police said, Wani admitted possessing two AK 47 rifles.
“He admitted possessing the weapons for the purpose of extortion and also to carry out some militant acts,” said the spokesman.
On Wani’s disclosures, the Anantnag police arrested three of his associates ---- Mohammad Rafiq Wani, Imtiyaz Ahmad Banday and Bashir Ahmad Wani, all residents of south Kashmir.
The police investigations revealed that Wani and Banday were “planning to execute a firing incident on the National Highway between Qazigund and Mirbazar”, 60 km south of Srinagar.
The police said militant Nawaz Ahmad Ahanger, a close associate of the LeT commander Ashraf Molvi of Rampora and Moosa alias Qari Banihal, was behind the designs to disturb normal life on the crucial national highway.
“This whole module was being organized and handled by Ahanger. Ahanger and Mohammad Younis Bhat had arranged the weapons in 2010 to deliver it to Moosa. However, because of the killing of Ashraf Sheikh alias Molvi they could not execute their plans,” said the police spokesman.
On the instances of the arrested militants, two AK 47 riffles, two magazines and 43 rounds were recovered from the agricultural fields of Bashir Ahmad Wani.
A case under Section 7/25 Arms Act, 457, 506 of the RPC and 120B have been registered against the militants.
The Srinagar-Jammu highway is buzzing these days with Amarnath pilgrims and any attack would have impacted the movement of traffic on the highway, the only surface link with Jammu and the rest of India.