Militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) has admitted to the presence of traitors in its ranks, who, possibly at the behest of Pakistan, killed Moulvi Showkat Shah, the former head of Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadees. This is the first time any militant group is making such an admission.
In a letter to Jamiat, a pro-separatist socio-religious group in the state, Lashkar has revealed two of the three men arrested for the murder of Shah, had actually been responsible for the crime.
Releasing the letter to the media on Thursday, a Jamiat spokesman said: "This is the first time any militant organisation had agreed with the conclusions of a police investigation."
"Earlier, we believed the murder was committed at the behest of Indian agencies to create misunderstanding among separatists. But we were shocked to find the crime was committed by traitors among our ranks,'' the Lashkar letter said.
The men arrested were Abdul Gani Dar alias Gani Dar Gazali, president of a radical group, Sout-ul-Haq, and two militants, Javaid Ahmad Munshi and Nisar Ahmad Khan.
The police had concluded that the conspiracy was allegedly hatched by Ghazali, along with Ashiq Faktoo, the husband of Duktaraan-e-Milat leader Asiya Andrabi. Faktoo is currently serving a life term in jail for the murder of human rights activist Hriday Nath Wanchoo, which took place in 1992.
Confirming the involvement of Munshi and Khan, the letter said Munshi had met a Lashkar commander in jail and confessed to the killing.
Lashkar said Shah's murder might have taken place following instructions from "Pakistani handlers". But they also suspected the men, especially Munshi, were "double agents", helping the police and the army.