Press Trust of india

Key accused in Poonch narco-terror case arrested from Himachal, 6 arrested so far

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Poonch/Jammu: A key accused in a case linked to cross-border smuggling of arms, explosives and narcotics into Poonch was arrested from Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi, on Friday, officials said.

Mohammad Iqbal, a resident of Poonch, was absconding since the arrest of three of his accomplices who were caught with a huge cache of arms, explosives and narcotics near the border fence in Karmara area of Poonch on the intervening night of May 30 and 31, they said.

They found that one Mohmmad Iqbal of Karmara, Poonch had fled from the spot, they said.

“Using technical surveillance and human intelligence, it was ascertained that Iqbal was hiding in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, where he was arrested by a team of Special Investigation Agency (SIA) of Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday,” they said.

On August 19, the “handler of the group” – Mohmmad Javed, who was also absconding, was arrested by the SIA in an operation in Delhi, which further led to the arrest of another co-conspirator Liyaqat on August 25th from Poonch, they said.

“Investigation has revealed the role of handlers operating this narco-terror module from foreign countries,” they said.

So far, six arrests have been made in the case and forward and backward linkages of the narco-terror module are being established, they said.

Further investigation into aspects of cross-border operation of this narco-terror syndicate, which is found smuggling arms, explosives and narcotics consignments across the border, is ongoing at SIA, they said.

The aspects of amassing disproportionate wealth in short periods of time as is seen in this case is being investigated.

Earlier, Mohammad Farooq (26), Mohammad Riaz (23) and Mohammad Zubair (22) were arrested by the Army along with an AK assault rifle, two pistols, six grenades, a 10-kg IED and 20 packets of suspected heroin while they were trying to smuggle the material from across the Line of Control (LoC).

The accused persons were intercepted by the Army after an exchange of fire in which one soldier and one terrorist had sustained injuries.

Earlier, the SIA also conducted raids at several places in Poonch for three consecutive days from July 26 to 28, following the recovery of seven kilograms of heroin, more than Rs 2 crore in cash, and a pistol along with some ammunition from the house of notorious drug peddler Rafiq Lala in Danna Doyiyan area of Sathra on March 03.

Lala was arrested under the Public Safety Act (PSA) early this year. However, the SIA had taken his remand on July 01 for questioning over his alleged links across the border.

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