Cop held for terror strikes in Kashmir

Was running militant outfit Islamic Front; carried out 13 attacks, killing 5 policemen.

india Updated: Aug 21, 2012 22:44 IST
Peerzada Ashiq
Peerzada Ashiq
Hindustan Times

The Jammu and Kashmir police on Tuesday claimed to have solved most militant attacks of the past 18 months by arresting a cop and his associate, who were running militancy in the state’s capital Srinagar.

“This module was functioning on its own. This is a new trend where smaller modules function without being part of any structured militant groups. So it takes time to crack such modules. With the arrests, almost all major militancy cases in Srinagar were resolved,” said Kashmir inspector general of police Shiv Murari Sahai.

The arrested cop has been identified as Abdul Rashid Shigan working under aliases like Moulvi and Omer Mukhtar. Shingan, a resident of Srinagar’s Batamaloo area, joined the police force as constable in 1998 and was discharged from duties for being involved in militant activities in the past.

“The cop was working as an over-ground worker for Harkatul Mujahideen before 1998, when he was a student. It was after a court order issued in 2002 that the cop was reinstated in the police force. We are looking into the court order and investigating the matter,” said Sahai.

Shingam, along with another militant Imtiyaz Ahmad Gojri, a resident of Srinagar’s Nawakadal area, was running the militant outfit Islamic Front.

“These two would carry out attacks and claim responsibility through press releases and on phones of news agencies. The hand writing of the cop matched with the militant claims made through press statements,” said Sahai.

The police claimed that the arms would be procured through the militant groups like the Hizbul Mujahideen.

In the past 18 months, the two men module carried out 13 major attacks without any handlers across the border or any directions from any militant outfit. The attacks left four cops, including a retired police officer, dead in targeted killings.

The cop-turned-militant also managed to attack senior minister Ali Muhammad Sagar, a sufi preacher Peer Jalal-ud-Din and two National Conference leaders.

“The module was behind the rifle grenade attack on the army and civil secretariat in Srinagar. It also attacked a CRPF camp, injuring seven. We are also investigating why he would attack cops in particular. But this is a simple case of terrorism and the motive was same as that of other militant groups. This also proves that militancy was not on a rise in Srinagar as was inferred from these attacks,” said Sahai.

At present, the arrested cop was with the security apparatus of the superintendent of police Bandipora district in north Kashmir, a militancy-prone area.

This is second major incident this year where cops arrested were involved in militant activities. In June this year, three cops were arrested for allegedly passing sensitive information to the Hizbul Mujahideen.

“The Jammu and Kashmir police are a large force and subversion is possible. We will try to place in a mechanism within to check background of recruits,” said Sahai adding, “but it’s difficult to indentify one who turns subversive after the recruitment.”

A huge haul of weapons, including AK-47 rifles, grenade launchers and grenades were seized for the cop’s house. One female hair wig was also recovered, probably used for fled from the scene.

Major attacks of cop-run module

1)January, 2011: A senior cop fired upon in Batamaloo, left injured
2)June, 2011: Cop killed outside his residence in Bemina
3)November, 2011: National Conference block president fired at
4)November, 2011: Rural minister Ali Muhammad Sagar attacked, in which an escort cop was killed.
5)December, 2011: National Conference activist fired killed in Batamaloo
6)April, 2012: Assistant sub-inspector killed in Chattabal
7)March, 2012: A sufi preacher Pir Jalaluddin shot at and injured in Batamaloo
8)May, 2012: CRPF installation attacked at Khanyar, injuring seven CRPF jawans
9)June, 2012: Four rifle grenades launched at the army installation in Srinagar
10)July, 2012: Rifle grenade launched at civil secretariat
11)August, 2012: A retired deputy superintendent of police killed in Batamaloo

First Published: Aug 21, 2012 18:36 IST