Police busts two terror outfits in J&K just days ahead of Republic Day

Lashkar-e-Toiba associate arrested from Pulwama just days ahead of Republic Day
Soldiers at the site where a gunfight erupted between security forces and militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district. (File Photo: IANS)

Srinagar: A major attack ahead of Republic Day was averted with police busting a module of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and arresting five members of the group involved in recent incidents of terror in the city, a senior officer said on Thursday.

A huge cache of incriminating material and explosive substances, including gelatine sticks, explosives, detonators, arms, explosive body vests, batteries and nitric acid, were recovered following searches based on their disclosures.

Police has arrested five persons who were active cadres of the proscribed terror outfit JeM and were involved in recent terror incidents in the city, V K Birdi, deputy inspector general of police, Central Kashmir Range, told reporters.

The five men, who were were working towards executing sensational incidents like terror attacks and causing IED explosions, were nabbed in two phases, he said.

Giving details of the arrests, he said a grenade explosion on January 8 near Habak crossing near Hazratbal area of the city led to minor injuries to a few civilians. Police launched investigations into the incident and nabbed two suspects Ajaz Ahmad Sheikh, a driver by profession, and Umar Hameed Sheikh, a street vendor, both residents of Hazratbal area.

During the investigation, they admitted their role in the incident and provided leads to a similar attack near Kashmir University on November 26 last year, the officer added.

More raids were conducted and three more persons were apprehended Imtiyaz Ahmad Chikla alias Imran, a sports shop owner, Sahil Farooq Gojri who has a private job and Naseer Mir, a businessman. All are residents of Hazratbal, the DIG said.

Further investigation indicated they were active cadres of the JeM.

In another incident, an associate of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was arrested from Awantipora area of Pulwama district in J&K.

“Police arrested a terrorist associate of proscribed outfit LeT in Awantipora,” a police spokesperson said.

He has been identified as Ishfaq Ahmad Dar alias Maheed resident of Dangerpora-Padgampora in Pulwama district, the spokesman said.

"As per police records, he has been assisting the active terrorists of proscribed outfit LeT operating in the areas of Padgampora, Sonrigund, Gulzarpora, Beighpora, Reshipora and Dangerpora areas of Awantipora," the spokesman added.

As per the investigation, Dar was involved in threatening and intimidating civilians residing in the area, the spokesman said adding he was also involved in providing logistic support to LeT cadres operating in Awantipora.

Case under relevant section of law has been registered at Police Station Awantipora and further investigation in the matter is in progress.

(With inputs from agencies)