JeM planned attacks in Delhi; militants sourcing weapons from Bihar: DGP
Jammu: Following the arrest of a top militant who had made a video of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s office, it has come to light that Jaish-e-Mohammad militant outfit is planning a strike in Delhi, J&K Police chief Dilbag Singh said on Sunday.
The Jammu and Kashmir DGP also disclosed that the militants in Kashmir “have begun procuring weapons from Bihar and are using some students from Kashmir, studying in Punjab, for smuggling these illegal arms into the Valley”.
DGP Singh made these revelations in a news conference over the arrest of self-styled chief commanders Hidayatullah Malik and Zahoor Ahmad Rather, respectively of militant outfits Lashkar-e-Mustafa (LeM) and The Resistance Front (TRF).
Malik was arrested on February 06 by the Anantnag police from Kunjwani in Jammu district while Rather was apprehended on February 13 from Bari Brahmana area of Samba district.
The UT’s police chief said these two groups, LeM and TRF, are “frontal organisations of Pakistan-based JeM and Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) to give Kashmiri name to their terror activities”.
“Malik has been leading LeM floated last August although he had been an active militant for a long time. He had worked as an overground worker and floated the group on the directions of JeM,” said Singh.
“Malik was also planning to set up a base in Jammu to carry forward militant activities in the region besides receiving arms and ammunition, being smuggled from Pakistan through underground tunnels on the border or being dropped by drones before being smuggled to Kashmir,” he said.
Singh said JeM was involved in various militant activities in 2018 and Malik’s interrogation revealed that “he was also a close associate of JeM commander Ashiq Nengroo who used to receive arms consignments from Pakistan in Jammu before escaping to the neighbouring country along with his family through an underground tunnel on the international border”.
The BSF has detected six underground tunnels along the IB in Jammu region over the past six months.
After escaping to Pakistan, Nengroo alias doctor has been directing militant activities in Kashmir at the behest of Pakistani agencies, said the DGP, adding that “Malik visited Delhi on Nengroo’s orders and forwarded him a video the NSA’s office after recceing it,” said the DGP.
“That means JeM is planning attacks on targets in Delhi as well,” he said, adding Malik’s arrest is a big breakthrough for police as it has exposed the militant group’s plan.
Malik, a resident of south Kashmir, “had also set up a network to get weapons from Bihar and soured seven pistols from there till now and got them distributed among militants,” the DGP said.
“He had also roped in some students from Kashmir, studying in Punjab, and had been using them for any action in Kashmir or Jammu or transporting weapons from outside,” said Singh.
In this context, the DGP also cited the example of a Kashmir-based nursing student in Chandigarh college who was arrested along with a seven-kg improvised explosive device from Jammu’s general bus stand area.
The DGP said Malik “was also involved in looting of Rs 60 lakh from a bank’s cash van last November.
“This was established after the arrest of his four accomplices, including his wife, in this crime,” he added.
Terming TRF chief Rather’s arrest as another “major achievement”, Singh said he is a Pakistan-trained militant and is known by aliases Sahil and Khalid among militants.
“He was also an active overground worker before crossing into Pakistan in 2002, where he underwent arms training and returned with five foreign militants through Rajouri route,” DGP Singh said
“He, however, had surrendered in 2006 and remained inactive before resuming his activities in 2019,” the police chief said, adding “his handlers in Pakistan know his potential and that is why made him the TRF’s chief.”
The DGP said he had set up a vast network in Kashmir and so far eight members of the group have been identified at his disclosure and some have also been arrested whose interrogation is on in Kashmir.
Being a militant, who had surrendered earlier, helped Rather escape security agencies’ suspicion, said the DGP, adding the TRF chief was “directly involved in the killing of three BJP workers in Kulgam and a policeman in Kokernag areas of south Kashmir last year.”
Rather is being questioned at present and his interrogation is likely to reveal new things, the DGP said.
The Union Territory’s police chief also complimented his men for “three major successful operations which led to the arrest of two self-styled commanders and recovery of IED to avert a major tragedy besides attempts by Pakistan to revive Al-Badr group.”