Hizbul man wanted for multiple murders held
Senior police superintendent (Kishtwar) Harmeet Singh Mehta said Rustam Ali was involved in the killings of BJP leader Anil Parihar, his brother, as well as RSS’s Chandrakant Sharma and his guard.Updated: May 21, 2020 04:21 IST
A Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist allegedly involved in the killing of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, his brother, and a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary in Jammu & Kashmir Kishtwar was arrested on Tuesday in a fresh setback to the outfit that has lost its top commanders this month.
Senior police superintendent (Kishtwar) Harmeet Singh Mehta said Rustam Ali was involved in the killings of BJP leader Anil Parihar, his brother, as well as RSS’s Chandrakant Sharma and his guard.
The Parihar brothers were killed in November 2018 and Sharma and his bodyguard five months later in April 2019. Mehta said Ali has been handed over to the National Investigation Agency, which took him to Jammu. The cases were handed over to the federal anti-terror agency last year.
Police said Ali was a close associate of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo, 35, who carried a bounty of Rs 12 lakh on his head and was killed in Pulwama district on May 6. Another top commander of the group, Junaid Ashraf Khan, was among two terrorists killed in an overnight gunbattle with security forces in Srinagar’s Nawakadal area on Tuesday
Tahir Bhat, an alleged Hizbul Mujahideen recruiter, was killed in Doda district on Monday. Bhat was allegedly assigned the task of carrying out fresh recruits while Ali was doing the same in the adjoining Kishtwar district. He is also believed to have had a role in Sharma and his guard’s murder.
Security forces have now launched a manhunt for the region’s oldest surviving terrorist, Jehangir Saroori. “This militant is hiding in the upper reaches of Marwah and Dachhan belt in Kishtwar district adjoining Doda district. He is the oldest surviving terrorist in Jammu & Kashmir and carries an award of around Rs 50 lakh on his head...,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity.
He added security forces have intensified operations to nab the terrorist but a difficult terrain and lack of technical intelligence has allowed him to remain at large.