Top Pakistani militant arrested in Kashmir
22 August 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: The Army today claimed to have achieved a major breakthrough in the Mumbai serial blast case by arresting a top Pakistani militant from South Kashmir early this morning. A Defence spokesperson said troops of 3 para (SF) noticed a person moving in suspicious manner in Nandmarg forest near Shopian in Kulgam area of South Kashmir at about 0330 hrs. He was asked to surrender and later arrested by the troops. On sustained interrogation, the spokesperson said the person revealed his identity, as 'Tohfeen Akmal Hashmi alias Abu Ahmad, a Pakistani militant.' The spokesperson said Hashmi was the divisional commander of Al-Badr militant outfit in Jammu and Udhampur areas. He said Hashmi admitted to knowing the perpetrators of July 11 Mumbai serial blasts in which about 200 people were killed and about 800 injured. Hashmi revealed that 17 militants were asked to carry out the blasts in India's commercial capital. While 16 ultras returned safe, one was killed in the blast, Hashmi said. The spokesperson said Hashmi was later handed over to Kulgam police. Meanwhile, militants set off an explosive device wounding a woman in North Kashmir while two constables were arrested in Handwara and Kulgam in different cases today. Militants detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Nasu, Bandipora in North Kashmir's Baramulla district today when a security forces' patrol was passing through the area, official sources said. Due to the blast, a woman identified as Haleema Begum, sustained injuries. She has been admitted to a hospital, they added. Security forces cordoned off the area and conducted search operation to nab the militants. Handwara police arrested a constable Ishtiyaq Ahmed Khan, a Selection Grade Constable for teasing a girl while being posted on guard duty at District Hospital, Handwara today. A FIR has been registered against him for further action. Another constable Riaz Ullah son of Asad Joo Rehman, posted with SOG Kulgam was arrested by police from Qazigund for extorting money from the people. Two extortionists were also arrested along with him. A case has been registered against all three accused.