Police today claimed to have busted a module of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which had been trying to revive militancy in the Chenab valley, with the arrest of seven persons, including an SPO and a former Territorial Army personnel.
The module was working to revive militancy in the Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban region of Jammu and Kashmir.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) of Jammu Zone S D S Jamwal told reporters here that the arrests were made by a special investigation team (SIT) formed after the attack on a police post in Doda on May 8, in which one special police officer (SPO) was killed and another injured.
Giving details, the IGP said that based on intelligence inputs the SIT had picked up some suspects and subsequently apprehended Abdul Rashid Harga alias Abdullah, a resident of Tanta.
Rashid had been an active member of LeT between 2001 and 2008 and had later surrendered. He was again arrested in 2013 and was released on bail in 2016.
“After sustained interrogation, Rashid confessed to his involvement in the (Doda) firing incident and disclosed the names of his two associates — his younger brother Showket Ali and Akthar Magary of Tanta,” the IGP said.
Following their interrogation, four more persons — Bashir Ahmed, who was earlier part of Territorial Army, his nephew and SPO Altaf Ahmed, Shafqat Hussain and Hafiz — were arrested.
He said that Rashid had been in contact with Bashir Ahmed of Bangraw-Gandoh, who was earlier working in the 139 Territorial Army Battalion in Thathri.
Bashir had asked his nephew Altaf Ahmed, who was working as an SPO in the police department in Doda district, to arrange a weapon.
The SPO had then stolen one AK-47 rifle and ammunition from the district police lines in January. A case in connection with the weapon theft was registered at Doda police station.
The IGP claimed that Rashid was in direct communication with his Pakistani handler, Mohd Amin alais Khubeb alais Haroon alais Pinna of the LeT. He said that Rashid, Akhtar and Shokat, on the direction of Khubeb, had been enticing youths of Tanta area to join the militancy.
The police officer said that Rashid had been regularly conducting meetings in various areas of the Chenab Valley and motivating former militants and those who had surrendered.—GK