LeT militants held in Kashmir ‘got arms training in Pakistan’
Security forces arrested two Pakistan-trained Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.Updated: Feb 03, 2018 21:13 IST
Police arrested last week two young Kashmiri men who had travelled to Pakistan on valid visa allegedly for weapons training at camps run by the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group, underscoring the movement of militants through routes they would avoid.
According to police, Abdul Majeed Bhat from Kreeri and Mohammad Ashraf Mir Nilla of Pattan, both places in northern Kashmir’s Baramulla district, were taken into custody at the Wagah-Attari border post in Punjab when they returned from Pakistan.
“They were on our radar for the past five months. We had information from since they entered Pakistan and joined militant training,” Baramulla senior superintendent of police Imtiaz Hussain said on Saturday.
The duo allegedly confessed to undergoing arms training in Pakistan during questioning.
“They revealed they had undergone terrorist training in Pakistan along with large number of Pakistani boys and most of them from Balochistan, some as young as 10,” a police statement said.
Taking the train to Pakistan is not a new strategy for militants, but often avoided as the risk of detection is extremely high.
“This is not the first time … Two militants who had undergone training in similar circumstances have been killed in the past,” Hussain said.
Most militants prefer the treacherous mountain trails to travel to and from Pakistan. However, it has become equally dangerous to walk the off-roads as the Indian military has intensified border patrol and security in the past several years.
As cross-border movement has become difficult, most of the active Kashmiri militants have been trained in the jungles of the state. Young Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, whose killing in the summer of 2016 triggered unprecedented unrest in the Kashmir Valley, was not trained in Pakistan, neither did his predecessors.
“In the past couple of years, police unearthed several modules that lure young boys to Pakistan to get trained and join militancy,” Hussain said.
Suspected militants Azharuddin alias Qazi from Kupwara and Sajad Ahmad alias Babar from Sopore, had allegedly gone to Pakistan on valid visa for arms training. They were killed on February 4 last year in Sopore.
Another suspected militant, Abdul Rashid Bhat, who had travelled to Pakistan on a visa, was arrested last July.
Police said a youth named Suhaib Farooq Akhoon of Baramulla went to Pakistan last August and was trained at a Lashkar camp. He is said to be active in the Valley now.
The authorities asked parents to report to police any prolonged absence of their children.