An indicator that militancy might be down but not out, the police on Thursday claimed to have busted indigenous Hizbul Mujahideen and the Lashkar-e-Taiba modules in south Kashmir by arresting eight militants. In north Kashmir, one Hizb militant was arrested in a separate operation.
The modules, according to the police, were tasked to attack political activists and isolated security personnel.
The police got the breakthrough while investigating a shooting case of a ruling National Conference block president and sarpanch Abdul Salam Malik, a resident of south Kashmir's Awantipora area. Malik was injured in the attack.
"During the investigation, the police arrested Sabzar Ahmad Sheikh, a resident of Brenthal, Tral in south Kashmir," said a senior police officer in-charge of south Kashmir.
During grilling, Sheikh revealed more names involved in militant activities in his area. "After raiding several locations, the police was successful in arresting Rafiq Ahmad Bhat and Shahid Nabi Sheikh, both residents of Tral. Parvaiz Ahmad Wani alias Maqsood and Master, a resident of Kanthipora, Kulgam was also arrested," said the police officer.
The arrested men, the police said, are affiliated to the LeT outfit and were operating in south Kashmir. "These militants were assigned the job of targeting political activists and police personnel at isolated places," said the police officer.
According to the police, Shabir Ahmad confessed to his involvement in a shoot-out case of Mohammad Anzar near a Anantnag bus stand on October 25, 2011. "On his instance, one Chinese pistol used in the shoot-out along with one magazine and five rounds was recovered," said the officer.
"Nabi Sheikh confessed his involvement in the attempted killing case of NC leader. A Chinese pistol, two under barrel grenade launchers and one rocket shell was recovered from Rafiq and Parvaiz," said the police.
In a separate operation, the Awantipora police also busted a Hizb module operating in Tral area and arrested four militants. "The module was involved in setting ablaze AR Cable Network Tral on November 17," said the police.
The arrested Hizb men were identified as Aadil Ahmad Reshi, Mujeeb-ul-Rashid alias Juj Peer, Mehraj-ud-Din Dar alias Sif, and Mohammad Iqbal Sheikh alias Altaf.
One rocket shell, one hand grenade, seven AK rounds, one pouch and Hizb letter pad were recovered from their possession.
In north Kashmir's Handwara area, the police and the army's 21 Rashtrya Rifles arrested a Pakistan-trained Hizb militant Manzoor Ahmad Lone alias Jehangir, a resident of Magam. "One fake identity card and Pakistani currency was recovered from his possession," said the police.