Reyaz Rashid

Two held in connection with Bla grenade attacks

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2 militant hideouts busted along LoC in Bla, arms recovered

Baramulla: A day after two grenade attacks in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, the police on Tuesday claimed to have arrested two persons allegedly involved in these grenade-throwing incidents. Police said both are affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) a militant outfit.

Notably, seven civilians were injured in the grenade attack in Azadgunj area of Baramulla town while the other grenade exploded without causing any injury or loss of life near Sopore Bus stand.

Addressing a hurriedly-convened press conference SSP Baramulla Abdul Qayoom said that two persons involved in grenade attack in Baramulla were identified and subsequently arrested during nocturnal raids.

He said soon after the attack, police and other security agencies used all human and technical intelligence which led to the identification and arrest to two persons.

“During investigations on the basis of human and technical intelligence, two suspects identified as Fayaz Ahmad Kumar alias Narsimha and Auqib Shafi Bhat, both residents of Baramulla, were arrested,” SSP said. He added both apprehended persons were affiliated with LeT.

While divulging further details about the apprehended persons, SSP said that there are 37 FIRs registered against Fayaz Ahmad Kumar alias Narsimha, who has been detained seven times under PSA in past while three FIRs stand registered against Auqib Shareef Bhat.

SSP added that as per investigations, “their aim was to revive militancy in Baramulla town, which they have been tasked with by their handlers across the LoC.”

He added further investigations are on.

Meanwhile, two militant hideouts were busted along the Line of Control (LoC) in Baramulla district of north Kashmir and a huge cache of arms and ammunition recovered after Army launched a search operation, a defence spokesperson said on Tuesday.

“It seems the modus operandi was to drop arms and ammunition in caches near the LoC so that the overground workers or militants pick the same for carrying out their activities in the hinterland,” the spokesperson said.

“It shows the desperate attempts by Pakistan-based militant groups to infiltrate weapons into Jammu and Kashmir for terror activities with the active connivance of Pakistan Army,” he added.

Troops detected movement of suspicious people along the LoC in Rampur sector of Baramulla district, in north Kashmir on Sunday, defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said.

He said the movement was from a village close to the LoC and the suspects crossed into Indian territory.

“Due to terrain of thick foliage and weather condition, an alert of likely infiltration attempt was sounded. The Surveillance Grid was beefed up all across the area and along the likely infiltration routes. Ambushes were sited to thwart any attempt of infiltration and surveillance continued throughout the night,” he said.

Col Kalia said the next morning, a search of the area was carried out and after an extensive search of seven hours, a huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from well-concealed locations in two hideouts in Rampur Sector.

“The cache of arms recovered comprises five AK series rifles (along with six magazines and two sealed boxes with 1,254 rounds of AK ammunition), six pistols (with nine magazines and six rounds), twenty-one grenades, two UBGL grenades and two Kenwood radio-sets with one antenna,” he said.

The defence spokesman said the area has villages ahead of the anti-infiltration fence and the suspected modus operandi is to drop war-like stores in caches near the LoC, wherefrom the overground workers or militants would pick the same for further transportation into the hinterland for militant activities.

He said similar attempts were made on July 22, when inputs were received regarding likely weapon drop along the LoC ahead of the anti-infiltration fence.

“During the search operation in the same sector, one AKS-74U with magazines, five pistols (one with Chinese markings) and magazines, 24 grenades & other warlike stores were recovered,” Col Kalia said.

The spokesperson said the modus operandi shows desperate attempts by Pakistan-based militant groups to infiltrate weapons into J&K for militant activities, with the active connivance of Pakistan Army.

“Robust surveillance and Line of Control domination activities will continue to deny all such misadventures,” he added.

Meanwhile, police also said that security forces on Tuesday busted a militant hideout in Poonch district and recovered a cache of arms and ammunition.

The hideout was unearthed during a joint cordon and search operation by the police, Army and Border Security Force (BSF) at Kanetar top following a tip-off, a police officer said.

He said the search operation was launched in the morning following reports of suspicious movement in the forest area.        The recoveries included two Chinese pistols with five magazines and 50 rounds, five AK magazines with 270 rounds, two wireless sets, four Chinese grenades and a binocular, the officer said.

However, he said no one was arrested in connection with the recovery during the operation which was still going on when last reports were received.

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