8 Pak ultras used sea route for infiltration
11 March 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Coastguards in Mumbai have come under a clout following a sensational disclosure made by two Pakistani militants of Lashkar-e- Toiba (LeT) outfit, arrested in Rajouri last night, that they had infiltrated into Indian territory in a group of eight through sea route from Karachi in Pakistan. This is for the first time when infiltration of Pakistani militants has been reported through sea route. The militants have claimed during preliminary questioning that they paid a 'huge amount' to Coastguards to reach Mumbai after a private boat, they were sailing in, was intercepted by the guards. Highly placed sources told the Excelsior that another Pakistani militant, who had been deputed to Doda, was arrested on the national highway this evening while five other Pakistani ultras were stationed at Mumbai and Chandigarh along with local guides and were expected to move towards Rajouri and Kashmir tonight. Their arrest appeared 'imminent' with police of five to six States besides Jammu Police parties having laid trap for them on the route they were expected to take for entering Jammu. Two local militants including a former Army soldier have also been arrested for escorting the militants from Chandigarh to Mendhar. Identity of other local militants accompanying Pakistani ultras to Jammu has been established. Their mobile telephones are being monitored, sources said. Two Pakistani militants arrested by Rajouri and Poonch police, in a joint operation at Patrari bridge in Manjakote last night and whose disclosures have created ripples among security agencies on the use of sea route for infiltration, have been identified as Abdul Majeed son of Mehmood Ahmed R-o Nawabshah, Sindh and Mohd Jameel son of Abdul Hamid R-o Mansera, Pakistan. Two local militants, arrested along with the Pakistanis, were identified as Feroz Mohd son of Khushi Mohd, a former Army jawan of 2 JAK Li and Mohd Taj son of Makhna, both residents of Sangiot, Mendhar. Sources said preliminary questioning of Pakistani militants by top police officers have revealed that they were launched from Karachi as a group of eight Pakistani militants in a private boat by Lashkar’s ‘launching commander’ Cheema about 15 to 18 days back. They claimed that it took three days to them to reach Mumbai. More sensational was the disclosure that their ship was intercepted by men of Coastguard when it went out of order for sometime. However, they managed to cross the security net by paying a huge some to the Coastguard. If their interrogation is to be believed, the amount paid as bribe to Coastguard jawans by the militants to allow them to continue their journey, which had been given to them by Cheema for distribution among the ultras after reaching their destination, was very huge. The disclosure will be investigated, according to sources. They said after interrogation of the militants is completed, senior police authorities will submit a detailed report to Coastguard officers for initiating action against their personnel who allegedly facilitated infiltration of the militants. Sources confirmed that this was for the first time when they have come across a group of militants which entered India through sea route. Militants disclosed that the route was chosen by the LeT leadership in Pakistan as it was becoming increasingly difficult for the ultras to breach border fencing and enter into J&K to compensate for casualties suffered by cadre of different outfit over past six to eight months. After reaching Mumbai, all eight militants stayed at an already identified hide-out for nearly a week. They had been asked to travel to Jammu for onward movement to Rajouri, Doda and Kashmir in four groups of two militants each. All of them were to be accompanied by local guides. Mohd Jameel and Abdul Majeed, the two Pakistanis travelled from Mumbai to New Delhi in a train on tickets handed over to them by Lashkar cadre in Mumbai and then from Mumbai to Chandigarh in a bus. They stayed in Chandigarh for a couple of nights in a hotel till local guides Mohd Taj and Feroz Mohd reached Chandigarh from Mendhar to receive them on Friday at 11 am. Feroz Mohd rang up Abdul Majeed from mobile to mobile and asked Pakistanis to reach Yard No. 26 at Chandigarh Bus Stand where he was standing wearing red shirt and carrying red bag with mobile in his hand. All four boarded a Jammu bound bus in the evening to ensure that they travelled during night hours when there is less security. They reached Jammu in early hours of yesterday morning and immediately boarded a Mendhar-bound bus. Sources said the Intelligence agencies and police by that time had succeeded in tracing movement of the militants and were subjecting all Rajouri bound vehicles to thorough searches. At Kali Dhar naka on Akhnoor-Sunderbani road, all four were subjected to searches by the cops but since all of them had identity cards and were not carrying any weapons, they managed to survive the naka. Sources said Pakistani militants had been given identity cards by their contacts in Mumbai. However, Rajouri and Mendhar police finally succeeded in apprehending all four accused at Patrari bridge in Manjakote area of Rajouri district from the bus last evening. They were immediately shifted to a safer area where they were subjected to sustained questioning during which they took the lid off sea route infiltration and bribing Coastguards. Another Pakistani militant was arrested on the national highway this morning when he was reportedly heading either to Doda or Kashmir, sources said. They added that Jammu Police have dispatched team to Chandigarh, New Delhi and Mumbai where local police have launched massive searches for five remaining Pakistani militants headed towards Jammu using different routes. Local militants who have gone to receive them have also been identified and their movement was being observed through mobile telephones. Police sources here were confident about the arrest of Pakistani as well as local militants. Two local ultras—Mohd Taj and Feroz Mohd have told police that they were deputed to Chandigarh to guide Pakistani militants to Sangiot from Chandigarh by Asfa Shah, a LeT commander based at Sangiot. Efforts were on in Sangiot to nab Asfa Shah, sources said. They added that arrest of three Pakistani and two local militants and busting of their module in Mumbai was a major jolt to the LeT outfit. Also, their arrest will thwart militants’ future plans to use sea route for infiltration, they asserted. Use of sea route has confirmed that ultras were finding it very tough to infiltrate through fencing on Line of Control (LoC) as well as International Border (IB).