Security forces are joyous after arresting a militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, who, they said, was involved in the attacks on mobile phone towers and operators earlier this year. The attacks had caused fear among those associated with the telecom sector and led to a near breakdown of the communication network in parts of the Kashmir Valley.
Officials said Falak Noor, a resident of Bakiaakar village in north Kashmir’s Handwara, was arrested by a joint team of the police’s special operations group and the army’s 21 Rashtriya Rifles during an operation at the nearby village of Zachaldara.
Noor, the officials admitted, was a “prize catch” because he was an A-plus category militant and carried a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head. “His (Noor’s) is an important arrest as he was instrumental in guiding militants who crossed over in the area. He was also involved in the mobile tower attacks in north Kashmir,’’ said deputy inspector general of police, north Kashmir, Garib Das.
Das said the operation to arrest Noor was launched following a tip-off. He said the militant, whose AK-47 was also recovered, was challenged, but that he did not put up a fight and instead “came out”.
Police sources said Noor was an active militant ever since he left home two years ago to join the Hizbul Mujahideen and rose through the outfit’s ranks. They said the militant was a student of Class 12 when he had left home.
“He was fierce, capable, and a sharp-minded militant who was part of many Hizb operations in the belt,” a police source said.