NIA raids on TRF in Jammu and Kashmir amid spate of civilian killings
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday carried out raids at multiple locations in Jammu and Kashmir and arrested two operatives of The Resistance Front (TRF) in connection with its larger conspiracy probe against the outfit, people familiar with the development said.
Among the residences searched, are that of Sajjad Gul, who is the Commander of TRF in the valley. TRF was created by the Pakistan army and the ISI in response to India’s abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 that gave somewhat special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Indian agencies claim that the outfit is nothing but an offshoot of LeT.
The outfit has claimed responsibility of the recent attacks on civilians in the valley.
Investigators have stated that the TRF is also behind the June 27 recovery of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) weighing 5.5 kg, which was dropped using a drone in Jammu on June 27 in Bathindi (Jammu) as well as twin-drone based attacks at the Air Force Station in Satwari on the same day.
The places raided on Sunday are located in Kulgam, Srinagar and Baramulla districts. Two TRF operatives arrested by the probe agency have been identified as Tawseef Ahmed Wani, a resident of Baramulla and Faiz Ahmed Khan, a resident of Anantnag.
“Investigation has revealed that Pakistan-based handlers of proscribed terror outfit LeT and their associates based in J&K had conspired to cause extensive terror activities for harming the public. They had planned that responsibility for the terrorist acts so committed would be taken by the pseudo-acronym TRF so as to maintain plausible deniability and evade Law Enforcement Agencies. During the searches conducted today many digital devices including mobiles, pen drives, data storage devices and other incriminating materials have been recovered,” the NIA said in a statement.
A senior counter terrorism official said Pakistan-based terror outfits are trying to create tension in the valley using their operatives.
The Union home minister, during a meeting with senior security officials on Friday, has directed hard action to be taken on all the elements including terrorists, overground workers (OGWs) and sympathizers for the killings of civilians.
According to Jammu and Kashmir police data, a total of 28 civilians have been killed by terrorists in the Valley this year out of which seven have been killed since Tuesday.