August 2017 News

Three Held For Aiding Amarnath Attack

6 August 2017

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Police has cracked last month's terror attack on an Amarnath Yatra bus by arresting three 'over-ground workers' (OGWs) and identifying four Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, including three Pakistani nationals, who had killed 8 pilgrims and wounded 20 others. OGWs are terrorists who do not carry weapons but provide logistics like shelter and vehicles to attackers. Munir Ahmad Khan, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone, said cops are very close to neutralising the four terrorists. 'Investigation is over. We know who all were involved. We will get the four and eliminate them. It can be today, it can be tomorrow', he said. Those arrested include shopkeeper Bilal Reshi, medical sales representative Aijaz Ahmad Wagay, and ad hoc State Road Transport Corporation driver Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh, the police said. They have been produced before a court and are in police remand. Four LeT terrorists - Abu Ismail alias Haroon, Mavya and Furqan (all Pakistanis) and local man Yawar Bashir - had sprayed bullets on the bus on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway near Batangoo in Kashmir's Anantnag district on July 10, the police said. The attack was meticulously planned by the terrorists and OGWs. Investigations have revealed that they had code-named the Yatri and CRPF vehicles as Showkat and Bilal, respectively, and their plan was to attack either of the two plying in isolation on that day. 'The attack was initially planned for July 9, but on that day there was no movement of CRPF and Yatri vehicles in isolation. On July 9, they arrived near Botengoo. Since there was no movement of vehicles in isolation, they had to retreat without any action', said the officer. The attack was rescheduled for July 10 and two targets were fixed. They wanted to attack either a CRPF or a Yatri vehicle. 'On July 10, they followed the same modus operandi. Unfortunately, when the ill-fated Yatri bus, which had a breakdown near Bijbehera and was there for quite some time, reached Botengoo it was attacked. It was purely a terrorist act to create scare', he said. The officer said that the three arrested OGWs provided the terrorists with a safe house, three vehicles - a Santro, an Alto and a motorcycle - and conducted reconnaissance of the target and even acted as their guides. Ajaz had informed the terrorists about the bus, the office said. He said Yawar had joined LeT on February 1, this year. Before that, he was a student of religious seminary Darul Uloom Bilalia in Srinagar. He looted a weapon from the police at Hazratbal in Srinagar on February 4 and joined LeT. He said cops were also investigating the role of two terrorists, who were killed in a chance encounter at Brakpora in Anantnag district last month, in the Amarnath attack.