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Police thwarts a planned car-bomb blast

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Busts JeM, LeT modules, arrests 7 militant associates

Srinagar: Police on Wednesday claimed to have busted two modules of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba militant outfits by arresting seven “militant associates”, who were allegedly planning to carry out a car-bomb attack on security forces in south Kashmir’s Khrew-Pampore area.

“Huge quantity of explosive material, detonators, grenades and a Maruti car were also seized,” police said.

“Jaish wanted to carry out a car-bomb attack and the Awantipora police was tracking this module. We have arrested four persons in this regard and have also seized the car that was to be used in carrying out the attack,” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir zone, Vijay Kumar told reporters here.

He said JeM had motivated one Sahil Nazir, a BA first-year student, through Telegram and other mobile messaging applications to procure a second-hand car for carrying out the attack.

Giving details, a police press release said that Awantipora Police received information that JeM militants were planning a car-bomb attack in Pampore-Khrew area.

Tracking this information, police along with the troops of 50 RR and CRPF carried out searches in Pampore area and apprehended one Sahil Nazir, son of Nazir Ahmad Mir, resident of Drangabal Pampore.

During questioning, Sahil Nazir revealed that he was in touch with one Pak  based militant commander Khalid Bin Waleed through various communication channels. Police said that Sahil also revealed that Khalid Bin Waleed intended to carry out some spectacular attack and “then the claim shall be made on behalf of a new outfit Mujahideen Gazwat-ul-Hind,” police said.

It said that Sahil also revealed that Khalid Bin Waleed had motivated him to carry out attack in Pampore area for which he volunteered himself.

During further questioning, “it surfaced that Khalid Bin Waleed delivered Rs 70,000 to Sahil Nazir for purchasing a vehicle,” following which “Sahil Nazir tasked his other OGWs/associates — Kaisar Ahmad Bhat, son of Farooq Ahmad Bhat, resident of Drangbal Pampore to purchase a second-hand vehicle.”

A Maruti-800 vehicle (JK01E-0690) was purchased from Srinagar and the said vehicle was kept hidden at a safe place at Wuyan in the house of Kaisar’s relative, police said.

Subsequently, Three more associates of the module — Yasir Ali Wani, son of Ali Mohammad Wani, resident of  Pampore;  Kaisar Ahmad Bhat, son of Farooq Ahmad Bhat of Drangabal, and Mohammad Mounis Fayaz alias Brooj Malik, son of Fayaz Ahmad, also a  resident of Drangabal were arrested with explosive materials, police said.

Police also revealed that on 25th of January 2021, Sahil Nazir and Kaisar Ahmad had travelled on a scooty to reach the Grid Station Pampore, and had lobbed a grenade on a CRPF camp located there. However, the grenade did not explode for the reason the pin of the grenade was not properly removed, police said, adding that the said hand grenade was later recovered live from the premises of camp.

“The investigation also revealed that Sahil Nazir was supposed to receive other explosive material in the near future,” police said, while adding that eight electronic detonators and a Chinese hand grenade were recovered from the arrested militant associates while the Maruti 800 car has also been seized.

A case (FIR No. 27 /2021) under relevant sections of law stands registered at Police Station Pampore in this regard and further investigation is in progress.

Police also said that Awantipora Police along with security forces have also busted LeT module after receiving information that its militants were planning an attack by means of triggering an explosive substance in Pampore area.

Acting on this information, Awantipora Police together with 50 RR and CRPF carried out a search operation in Pampore area and apprehended one militant associate of LeT — Musaib Aziz Goojri, son of Abdul Aziz Goojri, resident of Namblabal Pampore.

During questioning, “Musaib admitted that he was in continuous touch with LeT commander of Pampore Umer Khanday, and he had handed over container containing approx. 25 Kgs of explosive material (aluminium powder) to him,” police said, adding that the explosive material was later recovered at his behest

Musaib further revealed that “the explosive material has been kept with him for preparing IED and the other parts of IED were supposed to reach to him in near future,” police said.

During further course of investigation, two more militant associates of the same module — Muneeb Mushtaq Sheikh alias Zarar, son of Mushtaq Ahmad, resident of Drangbal Pampore, and Shahid Ahmad Sofi, son of Ghulam Mohammad Sofi, resident of Namblabal Pampore have been arrested along with the explosive material.

As per police records, these arrested militant associates are involved in providing shelter, logistics to the LeT militants and transporting arms and ammunition for them, police press release said.

It said a case (FIR no. 28/2021) under relevant sections of law stands registered at Police Station Pampore and further investigation is in progress.

Meanwhile in Srinagar, IGP Kashmir, whiletalking about the killing of Al-Badr chief Abdul Gani Khawaja in Baramulla district on Tuesday, said it was a “clean” operation with no collateral damage.

“It is a major success for security forces. Abdul Gani had joined militancy in 2001 and was arrested in 2007. He was released in 2008 and worked as an OGW till 2018. He became active again in 2018,” he said.

Kumar said the slain militant parted ways with Hizbul Mujahideen and worked to reactivate Al-Badr on instructions from Pakistan.

“He was involved in recruiting new militants for Al-Badr in Kashmir while receiving groups from across the Line of Control (LoC). He was a very big commander,” the officer said.

Pertinently, on Tuesday night, police buried Khawaja’s body in Gantamulla area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

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