Breakthrough in Showkat's assassination, 3 arrested16 April 2011
The Daily Excelsior
SRINAGAR: In a major breakthrough, police has arrested three persons in connection with the assassination of Jamiat-e-Ahli Hadees President, Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah, who was killed in IED blast while entering a mosque in Maisuma area of city to lead the Friday prayers on April 8. The breakthrough was achieved after State intelligence worked on some clues gathered from the scene and zeroed in one the accused. The information was passed on to State Police, which carried out the arrests. The arrested persons have been identified as Abdul Ghani Dar alias Abdullah Ghazali, president of ‘Sautul Haq’ (the voice of truth), a radical politico-religious outfit and two others-Javed Ahmad Munshi alias Billi Papa and Nissar Ahmed Khan alias Ishaq. The whole operation was conspired by Ashiq Hussain Fakhtoo alias Dr Qasim Fakhtoo, husband of Dukhtaran-e-Millat patron, Syeda Asiya Andrabi, presently serving detention in Central Jail, Srinagar. Addressing a press conference here, IGP Kashmir Range, Shiv Murari Sahai said that initial plan to assassinate Maulana Showkat was made in 2010 and the actual execution of the plan was left to Javed Ahmed Munshi, a former militant, who was trying to revive the Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen outfit in Valley. He along with Abdul Ghani Dar took assistance of Qasim Fakhtoo, an operative of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and executed the assassination plan. The IGP said that device used to target Jamiat president was supplied by a Lashkar commander namely Abdullah Yuni and the explosive material was kept in a utensil. The conspirators kept the explosive material in the copper utensil and fitted it on the bicycle and later detonated it with the help of a remote control. Mr Sahai said that LeT as well as United Jehad Council (UJC) are also involved in the assassination of Maulana Showkat as Jameel-ur-Rehman, an operative of LeT and general secretary of UJC used to give directions for the execution from across the border. 'We arrested Billi Papa on April 10 and following his revelations we were able to nab Abdul Ghani and Nisar Ahmad Khan. Both Ghani and Nisar were arrested today', the IGP said, adding 'we are expecting more arrests once the investigation moves on'. Billi Papa had gone to Pakistan in 1990 to receive arms training and he was one of the dreaded militants present in the Kashmir valley, said Mr Sahai, adding Billi Papa was associated with TUM and was considered to be one of the most wanted militant by police. This militant commander had carried out dozens of IED attacks and was arrested by police. He was released in 2007 and even after his release he used to do over ground work for TUM. Nisar Khan was a local trained militant and he had joined the militant ranks in 2004. He was a member of Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen and was involved in the assassination plan. It was Nisar, who detonated the IED as the Jamiat president was about to enter the mosque, said the IGP. About the reasons for the killing of Jamiat president, the IGP said, 'there are many reasons. Shah was trying to bring sects within Muslim community to come close and many didn’t like this. He used to criticize militants once they would do something wrong and for this he was not liked by many people within his party as well and as such there were many people who wanted to eliminate him'. Moreover, Maulana Showkat was perceived as one against sectarianism and helping to defuse sectarian clashes. His work in education field, especially trying to get a university from the Government was perceived by many radical elements as a compromise with the Government. His proximity with certain separatist leaders was also not liked by them,' said the IGP. Referring to the role of Saut-ul-Haq, a group of radical elements, in the whole episode of killing, the IGP said this group consisted of people who had parted their ways with Jamiat and were very critical of Maulana Showkat’s sphere of activities. He said Jamiat president had cordial relations with Shia community and Bareilivi community and that according to him didn’t go well with people within the Jamiat and also outside.