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Terror plot on Pulwama anniv foiled

6.5 kg IED recovered from arrested nursing student in Jammu

A sinister plot to bleed Jammu on the occasion of second anniversary of “ghastly” Pulwama terror attack was foiled by the alert jawans of Jammu & Kashmir Police after they recovered 6.5 kg explosives from a Kashmir-based nursing college student near Jammu bus stand late on Saturday evening.

The IED was to be used for triggering a blast at any one of the major installations in Jammu, including its famous Raghunath Mandir, railway station, bus stand and jewellery market located in the walled city area of Lakhdatta Bazar.

Nursing college student from Pulwama, currently studying in Chandigarh, was directed by the Pakistan-based handlers of Al-Badr terror outfit to execute the terror plot.

In a separate development, a consignment of weapons was also recovered from Samba. The weapons could have been airdropped in the area using Pakistani drones. Meanwhile, J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh also made a major revelation on Sunday that terrorist commanders in Kashmir are smuggling weapons from Bihar with the help of their overground workers network to carry out operations in the region.

He confirmed that chief commander of Lashkar-e-Mustafa, a front organisation of Jaish-e-Mohammad, had conducted a recce of the office of NSA Ajit Doval and had also dispatched the video footage to his handler Iliyas doctor of JeM to plan a major terror strike in New Delhi.

Addressing a joint Press conference here in the district police lines in Jammu, Inspector General of Police, Jammu range Mukesh Singh said they have been on high alert for the last three days as there were inputs that on the anniversary of Pulwama attack terrorist groups may carry out some major attack in Jammu city. He said based on these inputs checking points were established at critical points and on Saturday night a person namely Suhail was found roaming suspiciously in the area.

“He was carrying a bag. On being questioned and checking of the bag around 6.5 kg IED was recovered which was not active. During questioning he said he was a student of nursing college and was studying in Chandigarh. He was tasked by Al-Badr handlers in Pakistan to place this IED at places,” he said.

Singh said on further questioning Suhail also revealed that after placing the IED he was supposed to take a flight to Srinagar and he was to be received by a high ranking overground worker of Al-Bad, Athar Shakeel Khan at Srinagar.

“After meeting Athar he was supposed to become an active militant. This was his planning. Another person in Chandigarh was also in the know-how of this planning. He has also been picked up from Chandigarh and has been identified as Qazi Waseem and there is another person Abid Nabi associated with this outfit. He has also been arrested,” he said. The IG said by his arrest and by the recovery of this IED a major terror attack has been averted.

Addressing mediapersons on the occasion, Director General of Jammu & Kashmir Police Dilbag Singh said police carried out two major successful operations and arrested two chief commanders of The Resistance Front (TRF) and Lashkar-e Mustafa in the last one week from different areas of Jammu.

He said the TRF is being run by Lashkar-e-Tayyeba while the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Mustafa is being run by Jaish-e-Mohammad from across the border to carry out terror activities not only in Jammu & Kashmir but in some other parts of the country including Delhi. “Lashkar-e-Mustafa came into being recently in August last year,” he said.

Singh said the chief commander of Lashkar-e-Mustafa, Hidayatullah Malik, who was leading this outfit and was active from the last few months, was arrested by the police from Kunjwani area of Jammu. He said Hidayatullah was working as an OGW for a long time and later became active to carry out terror activities sponsored by Jaish-e-Mohammad. He said Malik was tasked to expand the terror base of the outfit from the South Kashmir areas to Jammu region. Singh said, “Hidayatullah had set up a network of OGWs to ferry arms consignment arriving from across the border to Kashmir Valley. In addition, he was also in touch with terror associates in Bihar from where he was smuggling pistols. So far seven pistols have reached Kashmir via Chapra in Bihar.”

“Hidayatullah had also set up a network of Kashmiri students studying in different cities across Punjab and was using them to ferry these consignments to Kashmir,” he said.

Referring to the modus operandi of terror outfits using tunnels, the DGP said during his interrogation Malik had also revealed that one of the active terrorist Ashiq Nengroo, who used to ferry infiltrators from Jammu to Kashmir Valley via road link, himself used the tunnel route to return to Pakistan along with his family.

He said now Ashiq Nengroo is working as an active handler and organising logistics support for terrorists across Jammu & Kashmir. During 2017-18 Nengroo had managed to ferry around three dozen terrorists from the International Border to Kashmir Valley.

The DGP said that in another major success one more chief commander of another terror outfit TRF being run by Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, Zahoor Rather alias Sahil and Khalid was also arrested. Singh said that Zahoor was arrested during an operation on the intervening night of 12 and 13 February. “Zahoor was active for a long time and was a trained militant. He was leading TRF. He was also working as an OGW. In 2002 he was working with Hizbul Mujahideen,” he said.

Singh said that Zahoor remained active for 5 years and later surrendered in 2006 and he again became active in 2009 and in 2009 his handlers sitting in Pakistan knew his potential.

He said that Zahoor was handed over the responsibility of running TRF in Jammu & Kashmir and he was involved in killing 3 BJP leaders in Kulgam last year.

Singh said that intensive questioning of Zahoor Ahmad is going on and it is expected that some more breakthroughs will take place through Zahoor.

Monday, 15 February 2021 | Mohit Kandhari | Jammu

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