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11/7: Army jawans held for LeT links

Military Intelligence arrests Lance Naik Mohd Shakeel and Sepoy Abdul Haq following reports of infiltration in forces.
None | By Press Trust of India, Jammu/srinagar
UPDATED ON JUL 26, 2006 07:32 PM IST

Three soldiers hailing from a border village of Jammu and Kashmir have been taken into custody for their suspected links with the Lashkar-e- Taiba close on the heels of reports that terrorists may have infiltrated the armed forces.

The detention of the soldiers belonging to the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) regiment prompted authorities to issue instructions for intensifying the screening of all people recruited to the security forces from the state.

The soldiers taken into "preventive custody" a few days ago are Lance Naik Mohammad Shakeel, Sepoy Abdul Haq and Mohammad Sharief, all from Mendhar village in Poonch district. While Shakeel and Haq are posted with a unit in Himachal Pradesh, Sharief is posted at Ashmukam in Anantnag.

"Investigations are going on into the case. A starred question is listed in Parliament tomorrow and I will not be able to speak any further on the issue," the Army's additional director general of public information, Maj Gen R Sujlana said.

Sources said disciplinary action has been initiated against the three soldiers but refused to give details of the nature of the action.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that their families had provided food and shelter to Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists at their homes in Mendhar, they said adding this could have been due to threats from the terrorists.

So far, no direct evidence has been found of the soldiers providing arms and ammunition, logistical support or secret information to the militants, the sources said.

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