Mohammad Ali Hussain, the Al-Badr militant arrested in Mysore for the alleged plot to attack the Karnataka assembly, is also the man who masterminded a series of grenade attacks on tourists in Kashmir in May and June. In Kashmir, he is better known by his alias Qasim.
The attacks had created panic in the Valley, which was just waking up to the rush of tourists. But following the blasts, tourists are shying away from visiting the state — and are yet to return.
Initial investigations by the Jammu and Kashmir Police, after the arrest of Ali Hussain and his associate Fahad in Mysore, revealed that Hussain had orchestrated most of the attacks on tourists. He was operating in the Harwan area of Srinagar.
“He was involved in 12 killings and there are as many FIRs against him in different police stations in Srinagar and other places in the Valley,” IG (Kashmir Zone) SM Sahai told the Hindustan Times. “Next week, we will be sending a team to bring him here for interrogation.”
Twenty tourists, mostly from West Bengal, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, were killed in the grenade attacks and several were wounded.
Sahai said investigations revealed that Qasim used to hire young men to throw the grenades. He would lure them with money or threaten them to do the job.
“We were looking for him. Now that he has been arrested in Karnataka, we will send our own team to bring him back and find out how he traveled. We suspect that he might be involved in many more acts,” Sahai added.