NIA takes custody of Hizbul man wanted for multiple murders
The Jammu and Kashmir police said Wednesday that they have arrested a wanted Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist from Kishtwar who was allegedly involved in the killing of BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother and an RSS functionary Chandrakant Sharma and his body guard in the last two years.
Police said Rustam Ali was arrested on Tuesday and handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which is investigating the murders.
Kishtwar’s Senior Superintendent of Police Dr Harmeet Singh Mehta said, “Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Rustam Ali was involved in the killing of Parihar brothers, RSS leader Chandrakant Sharma and his bodyguard. He was arrested on Tuesday and handed over to the NIA, which has now shifted him to Jammu.”
Sources said Rustam Ali was a close associate of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo who was killed in an encounter with security forces earlier this month.
The Parihar brothers were shot from point blank range in November 2018 and RSS leader Chandrakant Sharma and his body guard were killed in April 2019. All the murders took place in Kishtwar town.
Rustam’s arrest came two days after the killing of another Hizbul Mujahideen militant, Tahir Bhat, by security forces in Doda district.
While Tahir was said to have been assigned the task of recruiting local youth into militant ranks in Doda district, Rustam had allegedly been recruiting youth in adjoining Kishtwar district.
Tahir was also allegedly involved in the killing of RSS leader and his bodyguard.
After eliminating Tahir, security forces have now launched a manhunt to nab the oldest surviving terrorist, Jehangir Saroori aka Mohammad Amin Bhat as the crackdown against the terror outfit continues in Jammu and Kashmir.
“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 J&K and carries an award of around Rs 50 lakh on his head that was announced by the police and NIA,” said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity.