Udhampur car blast worked out; ISI, LeT behind it: IG11 May 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Police has worked out car blast at Udhampur, which was carried out by a Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) militant to target a senior Army officer of the Northern Command at the behest of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) of the Pakistan, and arrested a Government official for providing all logistics to the terrorist for reviving the sleeper cells of the Lashkar and start fresh spell of terror in this part of the State. However, the terrorist is absconding and efforts are on to nab him. Disclosing this to media-persons here this evening, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jammu Zone, Dilbagh Singh said that Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Pakistanís ISI engineered the May 2 car bomb explosion in which Commandant of Military Hospital, Major General D S Pathania escaped narrowly while as a milk vendor was killed and five others sustained injuries. He said that Special Investigation Team (SIT), which was constituted soon after the blast, is working hard to track down the absconding PoK militant, adding Over Ground Worker of Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit and State Governmentís Agriculture Extension Officer Abdul Mujeed, son of Shahab Din, resident of Behrote, Thanamandi in Rajouri district has been arrested while as several people have been detained for questioning. 'During investigation, the vehicle involved in the blast was traced and this led to the identity of owner of vehicle as well as nexus behind it', Mr Singh flanked by DIG Udhampur-Reasi, Jagjit Kumar and SSP Udhampur, Surinder Gupta, said. Subsequently, the special teams were deputed to Delhi and other adjoining places and they collected all the relevant records pertaining to the vehicle used in the blast as well as photographs of the owner and driver, which revealed that Abdul Mujeed, Agriculture Extension Officer presently posted at Thanamandi is the owner of Maruti 800 car, which was purchased at a cost of Rs 27000, laden with explosives in Jammu and then blown up through a remote control to target the Army officer. Accordingly, Abdul Mujeed, who was also working as Over-Ground Worker (OGW) of Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit during the past quite long time, was apprehended and put to sustained interrogation. During his questioning, the nexus behind the blast got exposed and involvement of a PoK militant, who was residing in Jammu during the past several years on the fake name and identity of Ghulam Sarwar alias Firdos, son of Barket Ali, resident of Behrote Thanamandi, was established, the IGP said, adding the exact identity of the PoK militant is yet to be ascertained. Mr Singh said that plan to start fresh spell of violence in the peaceful areas of Jammu region by activating sleeper cells of Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit was chalked out by the ISI several years back and as a part of strategy, Abdul Mujeed was tasked to make arrangements in advance to settle a PoK militant as a citizen of Jammu and Kashmir. Accordingly, Abdul Mujeed with the assistance of LeT commanders namely Hanjla and Usman, arranged a State Subject certificate, ration card, driving license, an identity card from an institute at Kanpur and CBSE Date of Birth certificate on the name of Ghulam Sarwar alias Firdos, son of Barkat Ali, resident of Behrote Thanamandi to facilitate the stay of PoK militant in Jammu and Kashmir and avoid suspicion from any quarter. It was only after Abdul Mujeed and LeT commanders conveyed to the ISI about these arrangements that PoK militant was deputed in 2008 for activating sleeper cells of LeT and carry out violent activities in peaceful areas of Jammu region, the IGP said, adding the terrorist, whose exact identity was not known even to Abdul Majeed, entered India through Bangladesh and stayed for sometime in Delhi before reaching Jammu, as evident from the evidences collected by the police during investigation into the car blast. Abdul Mujeed also managed rented accommodation for the PoK militant at Gujjar Nagar, Bathandi, Sidhra and Nagrota from time to time on his fake and false identity in order to facilitate his activities of reviving sleeper cells and carry out violent activities, Mr Singh said, adding Ghulam Sarwar even married a local girl to further avoid any suspicion. Later, Abdul Mujeed purchased a Tata Sumo bearing registration number JK08A-3878 with J&K route permit on the directions of LeT Commanders after making payment of Rs 2.5 lakh and the PoK militant plied the vehicle on different routes of the State. Later, he also purchased a truck bearing registration number JK02AE-4112 and even engaged driver to operate the same. Stating that wife of PoK militant was not aware of his activities and real identity, the IGP said that Abdul Mujeed was introduced with her as Ghulam Sarwarís uncle in order to avoid suspicion over the frequent visits of Mujeed to the rented accommodations of PoK militant. In response to a question, Mr Singh said that explosive fitted vehicle was parked on bridge on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway soon after the Road Opening Party (ROP) of the Army crossed the area and a remote control was used to trigger the blast. 'We have recovered the remote control from the Tata Sumo, which was used by the associates of Ghulam Sarwar in fleeing from the spot soon after the blast', he added. About the exact target of the militant, the IGP said that Lashker has suffered major jolt in Jammu region during the past some time with the killing of its commanders and the outfit was desperate to carry out some major activities in order to boost the morale of its cadre and revive militancy in peaceful areas of Jammu region. 'About 65 militants including some foreigners are still operating across the Jammu region and security forces are leaving no stone unturned to track their movement and eliminate them', he said. Mr Singh, however ruled out any, threat to Amarnath yatra due to their presence, adding 'we are taking all measures to ensure peaceful yatra'. Responding to another question, Mr Singh didnít rule out the arrest of more persons including OGWs of the outfit, adding 'the investigation is still in progress and hopefully more sympathizers of the terrorists including those who fitted explosive in the Maruti car will be behind the bars shortly'. The IGP said that Udhampur Police received proper coordination from Rajouri and Poonch Police in working out the blast case. 'We started from a bit of information and succeeded in working out the case within a short span of time', he added.