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2 ISIS-linked terrorists arrested near Red Fort, Delhi was not target: Police

The Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir is allegedly a new outfit owing an allegiance to ISIS.

delhi Updated: Sep 08, 2018 00:20 IST
Anvit Srivastava
Anvit Srivastava
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Terrorists in Delhi,Red fort,Terrorists
The two persons, hailing from Kashmir, was arrested near the Red Fort area on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.(ANI Twitter)

Two Jammu and Kashmir residents, who police alleged are members of the Islamic State of Jammu & Kashmir (ISJK), were arrested from Delhi on Thursday night by the Delhi police.

The two men — Parvaiz Rashid Lone alias Shahid,25, and Jamsheed Zahoor Paul,20 — residents of Shopian in J&K were allegedly arrested from a bus stop near Red Fort in Old Delhi. At a press conference held by the police on Friday, officers of the special cell said that the two men had come from Amroha ,Uttar Pradesh, after collecting two “sophisticated pistols” from a contact and were on their way to board a bus to Jammu.

The police claimed to have recovered two pistols of 7.65 mm caliber, 10 live rounds and four cellphones from the two men. They said that Lone is an M/Tech student at Venkateshwara University in Gajraula in Uttar Pradesh, while Paul is pursuing a diploma in electrical engineering from a university in Awantipora, J&K. “The two do not have a criminal record”, an officer said on condition of anonymity.

Deputy commissioner of police (special cell) Pramod Kushwah said at the press conference that the two men were instructed by the chief of the ISJK - Omar Ibn Nazir - to get the weapons. “This is the second instance when they were returning (to Kashmir) after collecting the weapons. They had earlier taken weapons from Amroha to Kashmir about 2-3 months ago. They are from the same village. The weapons could have been used against the security forces in J&K,” said Kushwah.

The DCP said Lone, who completed his BTech in civil engineering two years ago, was “self-radicalised”. “His younger brother Firdous Lone, who was a member of the militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, was killed in an encounter with the security forces on January 24 in Shopian, J&K.”

“Lone was influenced to join the ‘terror ranks’ by his brother. His brother had left HM and joined the ISJK in December last year”, the DCP alleged.

The officer alleged that Paul, who is the son of a Jammu and Kashmir police constable, had joined the group after meeting a militant at the funeral of Sabzar Bhat in April 2017. “Bhat was an active militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen, whose death in an encounter sparked protests and clashes between the public and security agencies in Tral, about 45 kilometre from Srinagar,” another senior officer of the special cell said.

Kushwah said police are on the lookout for the man who supplied them the pistols. Police said the two men claimed that they bought each pistol for Rs 50,000.

The families of the two men said they were innocent. “My son is innocent, please release him. He had nothing to do with militancy,” said Parvaiz’s father Abdul Rashid Lone, a retired government employee. Zahoor Ahmad, the father of Jamsheed, too was surprised by his son’s arrest.

(With inputs from Ashiq Hussain in Srinagar)

First Published: Sep 07, 2018 16:07 IST