Police parades arrested Pak militant before media
“I was told Muslims were not allowed to pray in Kashmir, I found it untrue”
Srinagar, Apr 24: A Pakistani militant belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit, who police said was tasked with reviving militancy in certain areas of the Kashmir Valley and was arrested from Baramulla district of north Kashmir, was paraded before the media here on Wednesday.
Mohammad Waqar Awan, a resident of Mohalla Miana in Mianwali area of Punjab in Pakistan, was arrested earlier this week from Pattan area and paraded before the media on Wednesday at the Police Control Room.
Awan, known by alias of “Chota Dujana”, told reporters that before he joined militancy, he was told that atrocities were being committed on the people of Kashmir by security forces but he saw no such thing in the Valley.
“I received training for four months at a camp in Muzaffarabad. I was told that atrocities are committed on children and women. Prayers are not allowed in mosques and houses of Muslims are destroyed,” he told reporters, adding that he found that the conditions were different in Kashmir.
Police officials said Awan's arrest and "confession" is a “live evidence” for Pakistan “as to how youths are manipulated on its soil, prepared for militancy and then sent here to join Jaish-e-Mohammad or Lashkar-e-Toiba”.
Asked if he was involved in any attacks in the Valley, Awan said, “I was not involved in any attack”.
The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Baramulla, Abdul Qayoom, said Awan had infiltrated in the Valley in July 2017.
“He was active in Handwara (area of north Kashmir's Kupwara district). For the last about two years, he was active in different places of Srinagar. When he was returning to Baramulla, he was intercepted at a naka (check-post). However, the driver of his vehicle rammed it into police vehicle and sped away.
“The police chased them and about 1.5 km away from the naka, they left their vehicle on the road and tried to flee, but were apprehended. The driver, a conduit, is a Kashmiri. We will share further details when we have them,” the SSP said at the press conference.
Qayoom said Awan's primary task was to revive militancy in those areas which had been declared militancy-free.
“We had this input that since Baramulla was declared free of militancy, they (militant leadership) were under pressure to revive the militancy there and that is why these two were going to Baramulla,” he said.
He said a pistol and some other things were recovered from the Pakistani militant when he was arrested.
Asked about Awan's activities in Srinagar, the SSP said he mostly visited areas around Srinagar-Baramulla highway and few areas in downtown – the interior areas of the city here.
“We are identifying and pinpointing more people involved with him,” Qayoom said.
Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh, who also briefed the media, said Awan's "confession" is evidence of how Pakistan is sending youths here for militancy.
“Pakistan always wants some live evidence. Police will share that evidence. A Pakistani militant is here since the last two years and an active member of LeT and involved in many activities.
"His coming in front of you (reporters) and sharing the details, is live evidence for Pakistan as to how they ready the youth there for militancy and send them here for joining Jaish-e-Mohammad or Lashkar-e-Toiba,” Singh said. (With PTI inputs)