In a joint operation on Friday the police, army and the CRPF arrested Pakistan’s Multan-born militant commander in south Kashmir’s Kulgam area, 60 km away from Srinagar. One can pass him as an aspiring actor for having no burly long beard, possessing muscular body and centre-part hairstyle. However, in his twenties, Naveed Jat with three aliases is a divisional commander of Lashkare-Toiba (LeT) and behind two meticulously executed attacks.
A Srinagar-based spokesman said Jat was apprehended from a hideout in a joint operation of the Kulgam police, the army’s 62 Rashtriya Rifles and CRPF’s 18 Battalion.
“He was overpowered before he could make an attempt to escape or open fire,” said a counter-insurgency officer, barred from revealing their names.
Jat survived many search and cordon operations. On Friday, he was caught holed up in a house in Shampora village.
Also a self-styled deputy chief working under aliases Abu Hanzullah, Munnu and Chotu, the commander spearheaded fatal attacks on security forces in south Kashmir.
According to the police, Jat was behind the killing of two policemen near the district court complex in Pulwama district. He also coordinated an attack on the police party recently at Shopian, which left five police personnel wounded.
The security agencies, which will interrogate the militant, suspect that Jat was behind several other attacks in south Kashmir and his arrest has comes as “a major dent to striking capabilities of the LeT.” He would always spearhead the attacks with the help of local militants, said the counter-insurgency officer.