Recovery of mortar fuze used by Pakistani army alarms security forces in Kashmir
Srinagar: Security agencies have raised an alarm over the recovery of three Point Detonating (PD) fuzes, used by the Pakistani army in their 82 mm mortar shells, from a militant in north Kashmir two weeks back, officials said on Monday.
The three PDs were recovered by the Baramulla Police on the eve of New Year when the force intercepted a vehicle. Unaware of the material recovered, the police had declared it as “unique grenade”.
However, senior officers at the police headquarters examined the material and came out with a finding that it was a PD used by the Pakistani army for the 82 MM mortar shells, they said.
A report was shared with other security agencies including the Army which has now taken up the matter with all seriousness, the officials said.
They said the PD could be used during the fabrication (manufacture) of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) to increase its impact. It helps in super-quick detonation of explosives or at times can delay the impact mode for a bigger damage, the officials said.
The militant, identified as Asif Gul, from whom the PDs were recovered, is alleged to be a known Over Ground Worker (OGW) of The Resistance Front (TRF), a “shadow outfit” of banned Lashker-e-Taiba militant group.
He had concealed the fuze inside a sack full of charcoal.
Gul, against whom 29 cases have been registered since 2015, “was in touch with now Pakistan-administered-Kashmir-based Aabid Qayoom Lone, who is believed to be a top commander of TRF and instrumental in running modules of shadow militants groups in the valley from across the border,” officials said.
They said Gul had picked up the consignment from north Kashmir and was on his way to deliver it to his cadres in south Kashmir.
This is the first case of mortar fuze being seized by the police, and the officers fear that some consignments may have remained undetected and reached the militants modules in the Valley.
“The year 2020 saw several consignments of arms being smuggled from the other side of the border, some of them being dropped from across the LoC using drones,” official said.
They said there have been numerous instances of drones, also known as quadcopters, being used by Pakistani spy agency ISI for dropping weapons in Jammu and Kashmir for militants especially “across Peer Panjal”, a reference to Jammu region in army parlance.
The officials said the militants holed-up in the Kashmir Valley and the new recruits have been facing acute shortage of arms and ammunition and they are desperately looking for some help from across the border.
This is being perceived by the security agencies as a “new dimension” in decades of militancy in Kashmir, leading the army to instruct its forward formations to keep an eye on any flying object coming from across the border and hit it hard to bring it down.
As small drones are tough to detect through a radar, extra vigil using all high-tech gadgets along with human scrutiny is being maintained, officials said.