May 2018 News

LeT Involved In North Kashmir Killings: Police

9 May 2018
Rising Kashmir
Noor ul Haq

Baramulla: After the killing of six civilians in various parts of north Kashmir in past few days, Jammu and Kashmir police on Wednesday said that Pakistan based militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) has carried out these attacks with a motive, to 'create fear psychosis among the people' and show their presence in northern region of Kashmir. Last month, on April 30, 2018 three young boys namely Haseeb Nabi Khan, Irfan Ahmad Sheikh and Mohammad Asgar Sheikh were shot dead from close range in Old Town Baramulla near Khanpora Bridge at around 8:35 in the evening. Baramulla police claimed three local militants of Lashkar Toiba were behind the killings. 'Three militants were spotted by locals who informed police. After killing the civilians they boarded a Santro car bearing number JK01J 0010 and fled towards Drangbal area,' Imtiyaz Hussain, Senior Superintendent of Police Baramulla told reporters in Baramulla. On May 4, 2018, 34 year old Mohammad Ashraf Mir, a sumo driver by profession was shot dead by suspected militants at Harwan in Sopore besides injuring his 32 year old wife Saima Bano. In Hajin, two more civilians were killed on May 5, 2018 at around 3 am and the bodies were recovered early morning on Saturday. They were identified as Ghulam Hassan Dar (45) and 26-years-old Bashir Ahmad Dar. DIG north Kashmir range Dr Sunil Gupta said that the civilian killings by Lashkar militants were aimed to create fear psychosis among people and show their presence in area. 'During interrogation of the arrested militants it surfaced that the handlers in Pakistan wanted to create an atmosphere of fear in northern Kashmir. Killings of Hajin and Harwan were part of same operation,' DIG NKR said in the joint presser of Army, Police and CRPF. Following the inputs, security agencies launched a cordon and search operation in Drangbal Baramulla and in Sopore to nab the militants behind the killings. 'Immediately after the killings, multiple search parties of Police, CRPF and Army were launched to track the culprits. Whole area was put under surveillance and on May 5 movement of militants was reported from Drangbal-Hajibal forest area. Upon being challenged, the militants fired and fled into the forest area while as one militant identified as Aijaz Gojree was apprehended alive,' Kishalay Dubey, Commanding Officer of 46 RR said during a press briefing at Baramulla on Wednesday. The arrest of Gojree led to a series of raids across district Baramulla and a module of Lashkar Toiba being operated from Sopore and Baramulla was busted. Moving ahead with investigations, one more militant Bilal Ahmad Najar aka Sameer, a resident of Banglow Bagh Baramulla was apprehended by security agencies, army officer informed the media gathering. Answering a question that if militants keep regrouping and recruiting in north, DIG NKR says regrouping will not stop. 'Regrouping will not stop. It's not in our hands. After eliminating Hizbul Mujahideen in north Kashmir, Lashkar became a new entrant in region. Abu Maaz of Pakistan is commanding the group in north and on his directions, Sopore (Harwan) killings took place,' said DIG NKR. 'Investigations into the killings and further interrogation led security agencies to arrest two more militants from Sopore.' Nadeem Dar from Nowpora Sopore, who according to police was the main handler of this module and Naseer Mochi as per police, has been found involved in two grenade attacks on Baramulla police station in recent past. Apart from these four active militants, police claimed to have arrested a group of six OGWs from Sopore and Baramulla areas. Security agencies believe this is a big leap towards ending militancy in northern Kashmir. 'We believe in killing militancy and not the militants. Though exact figure of the number of the militants can't be revealed but militancy in north is on a very low edge', DIG NKR added. Police said that besides a huge recovery of household material, equipment and vehicle, war like store was recovered from the possession of militants. 'Two AK rifles, two Chinese pistols, four hand grenades, 50 rounds of AK 47, four AK magazines and two pistol magazines were recovered from the apprehended militants.' Moreover police said that the two militants involved in the killings had joined militant ranks in October-November 2017 while as the third one joined after murdering three boys in Baramulla on April 30th. A police official said that one prominent militant of the group Suhaib Akhoon had gone to Pakistan in July last year on passport and visa from Pakistan High Commission and had obtained training in LeT camp based in Faisalabad Pakistan. After returning back via Wagah border he formally joined the LeT group here and is still active in the area.