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Two HuM militants arrested in north Kashmir’s Handwara in dramatic takedown

Two pistols and two hand grenades were seized from the two militants who had entered Handwara to create disturbance.

india Updated: Aug 14, 2017 19:09 IST
ashiq hussain
ashiq hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar.
Harkat-ul-Mujahideen,Militants arrested,Kupwara district
Security forces on Monday arrested two Harkat-ul-Mujahideen in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. (Representative image)

Security forces on Monday arrested two Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) militants in a dramatic takedown in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

The arrest comes a day after security forces gunned down three militants, including Hizbul Mujahideen commander Yasin Itoo alias Mehmood Gaznavi, in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. Two soldiers were also killed in the gun battle.

Police sources said after being tipped off about movement of militants in the area, they laid a check point, manned jointly by police, army and CRPF, at Bakihaker crossing in Handwara.

The two militants, approaching towards the crossing, tried to flee after seeing the forces from a distance, a police spokesperson said, adding the joint security team, however, noticed their escape bid and alerted their companions posted in civvies at a distance.

The second team pounced on the duo and soon overpowered them. Two pistols, two hand grenades and some “incriminating materials” were seized from them.

During interrogation, the two, told the police that they had joined the HuM only recently and were tasked to create disturbances in Handwara by indulging in violent activities.

The two arrested militants are from central Kashmir.

Police said they also revealed that despite a lot of efforts by the militant commanders based in Kashmir and Pakistan occupied Kashmir, youth from Handwara by and large were not attracted towards militancy.

“The two revealed that most of the militant organisations based in Handwara/Kupwara region are facing problems due to depleting number of local recruits. They further revealed that youth of the region are not ready to pick up gun, despite a lot of efforts by the militant commanders based in Kashmir and PoK,” the spokesman added.

The official said that the militant outfits had succeeded in recruiting some local boys in Kupwara region recently but they either surrendered before police or were caught by security forces within a short span of time after joining militancy.

“ It is because of this pressure upon the valley based commanders of militant outfits to disturb the peace and tranquillity of the region that they are making efforts to recruit militants from other regions and bring them to Handwara to create disturbance,” the spokesman said.

The two were identified as Younis Ahmed Mir (19) alias Sarfaraz, a resident of Budgam district and Tahir -ul-Islam (21) alias Sajad Afgani, a resident of Shalteng in Srinagar district.

First Published: Aug 14, 2017 19:09 IST