Three people have been arrested for the killing of prominent Jammu and Kashmir cleric Moulvi Showkat Ahmad Shah. Making this announcement the J&K police said on Saturday that the murder was part of a “conspiracy” to radicalise the Shah-led organisation Jamiat-e-ahle Hadith.
“Three arrests have been made, and they form the core group in the assassination of Moulvi Showkat,” inspector general of police SM Sahai said.
The arrested were identified as Abdul Gani Dar alias Gani Dar Gazali, president of the radical group Sout-ul-Haq; and two militants Javaid Ahmad Munshi alias Bill Papa and Nisar Ahmad Khan.
“They wanted Shah to be removed largely because he was not allowing the Jamiat to be used as a political platform and he was resisting its radicalisation,” Sahai said. “He was also seen to have been engaging with the other sects of Muslims—Shias and Barelvis.”
While Dar was the main conspirator, Munshi manufactured the IED used to kill Shah, and Khan planted and triggered it using a remote control.
The terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) may be involved in the murder, Sahai added. “The parts of the IED that were used in the killing were brought from Sopore after getting in touch with LeT commander Abdullah Uni.”
Dar had discussed the plan with former militant Qasim Faktoo when he was paying him a visit last year at the Srinagar central jail. Faktoo is married to Asiya Andrabi, who heads the Dukhtaran-e-Millat women’s secessionist group.