Authorities said on Tuesday they had identified some local youngsters associated with indigenous terror group Hizbul Mujahideen who targeted telecom workers and infrastructure in a string of attacks that began last month, disrupting communication lines in the trouble-torn state.
A BSNL employee was killed and two others were injured when unidentified gunmen struck at a company showroom in Sopore last week while another person hosting a mobile tower at his house was killed a day later.
Kashmir’s inspector general of police Javed Gilani said a few arrests had been made and a breakthrough was likely soon, while sources said four local youngsters drafted by Hizbul Mujahideen were mixed up in the incidents. “We know the names of people involved in the attacks. We have arrested a group of people who used to provide support to militants,” the IGP said.
The latest attack came on June 1, when militants targeted a mobile phone tower with a grenade in downtown Srinagar that hit communication services in the Valley.
Gilani did not rule out the involvement of other banned militant organisations, though officials said any complicity of foreign outfits was yet to be determined. “Most militant groups work together. Although our investigation so far has established the involvement of indigenous Hizbul Mujahideen cadre, help from groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba cannot be ruled out,” the IGP added. Police said more arrests were likely while they had increased security around mobile towers amid heightened fears of further attacks.
Meanwhile, the Union home ministry, in an advisory sent on Tuesday, asked the J&K government to ensure security of communication infrastructure and come out with an action plan to deal with militants’ threat. The state government was asked to put in place counter measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents and to ensure smooth functioning of the communication infrastructure.