The Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) police have started a major exercise to identify and trace 734 absconders in the Union Territory, suspected to have a role in militancy-related cases.
According to the police, eight absconding terrorists and their associates, involved in serious crimes of terrorism and disruptive activities around three decades ago, have been arrested from Doda district of Jammu.
A police spokesperson said the SIA, assisted by CID inputs, had “detectives working quietly for months to apprehend these eight absconder terrorists, wanted in Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) cases for 27 to 31 years”.
The police said these terrorists had managed to escape from the clutches of law for decades “by going underground and remaining untraced”. “Then they resurfaced to enjoy normal family life at their native or some distant places. Some of these terrorist absconders have managed to get government services and contracts, others found engaged in private businesses and even working in the court,” the police said.
The police said that the accused will be produced before the TADA and POTA court, Jammu, in pursuance of warrants issued against the absconders.
According to the J&K Police’s Special Investigation Agency (SIA), 369 absconders, including 215 in Jammu and 154 in Kashmir, out of the 734 absconders have been identified in J&K so far.
“Out of the 369 verified absconders, 127 remained untraced, 80 have died and 45 are residing in Pakistan or Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and other countries abroad and four are lodged in jail,” the police said.
The police said how these absconder terrorists managed to escape from the law and live a normal life at their native place without being traced for so long and other aspects of larger criminal conspiracy, nexus and the role of insiders will also be investigated by the SIA.
The police said the crackdown was with a larger objective and mandate of achieving zero terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir. “The SIA has initiated a special drive to trace and produce before the concerned court all the absconders of terrorism-related cases for facing trial under law,” the police said.