The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has announced a bounty of Rs 10 lakhs on the Udhampur attack mastermind Abu Qasim in posters that were pasted across the Kashmir Valley on Wednesday.
Besides Qasim, the NIA is announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for those providing information about two more Pakistani militants, Abu Okasa and Zargham.
According to sources, handbills asking people for information on the militants are being distributed in South Kashmir, the current hotbed of militancy in the valley.
An e-mail address - email@example.com - has also given out apart from phone numbers for contact.
The informers have been promised anonymity by the agency.
The three militants, according to the police sources, are at large and capable of undertaking Udhampur-like attacks across the state.
Abu Qasim, alias Abdur Rehman, a resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan, is being called a “self-styled commander of the Lashkar-e-Toiba in South Kashmir” in the posters. Qasim, who has a bounty of Rs 10 lakh on his head, was allegedly the mastermind of the Udhampur attack. Qasim, according to the police, had planned similar attacks in the past, including the Hyderpora attack in 2013 in which eight army personnel were killed.
According to officials, it was Qasim who allegedly arranged local transportation and accommodation for terrorist Mohammad Naveed and his accomplices.
Naveed and his accomplice Noman, had attacked the Border Security Force convoy in Udhampur in Jammu region recently. While Naveed was captured alive by villagers, Noman was killed during the encounter with the security forces.
Naveed admitted that Qasim had told them about the attack in Udhampur on August 3. He had briefed the two attackers and also given them a few thousand rupees for expenses.
Naveed had told his interrogators that Qasim had given clear directions not to attack any civilian vehicle.
According to the NIA, Abu Okasa, believed to be 18 to 19 years old, is a resident of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan, and Zargham, alias
Mohammad Bhai, is a resident of Hazara ub Khyber. Both had infiltrated into India in a group with with Naveed and Noman.
While the NIA had earlier released photos of Okasa and Abu Qasim, alias Abdur Rehman, the two accomplices of Naveed wanted by the agency, it was for the first time that the sketch of Zargham was released. Sources say Zargham is a fidayeen (suicide attacker).
The NIA has arrested about 12 people, including one on Tuesday. However, the main players are still untraceable.
The person arrested on Tuesday has been identified as Showkat Ahmed Bhat, a resident of Pulwama in South Kashmir. Showkat has been accused of helping the militants, including Naveed, travel from Baba Reshi in Baramulla after they crossed the Line of Control.