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Army shoots down two in J&K’s Kupwara

The police have recovered IEDs, remote controls and fuses from the two terrorists.

The police have recovered IEDs, remote controls and fuses from the two terrorists. | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

The arrest of two persons by the Jammu and Kashmir police has brought to the fore a network of militants behind growing incidents of militancy in the Pir Panjal valley in the Jammu division this year. Meanwhile, the police said the Army on Tuesday claimed to have shot dead two persons, suspected of facilitating arms supply to militants, near the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

The police, investigating three blasts that took place in Rajouri’s Kotranka town and Shahpur in March and April this year, on Tuesday said they have arrested Muhammad Shabir and Muhammad Sadiq, both from Draaj locality of Rajouri’s Budhal area, for their involvement in these blasts. Earlier, the police had described these blasts as “mysterious”.

“During the investigation, it has come to the fore that the three accused, Talib Shah, Shabir and Sadiq, were involved in these blasts. They were working on the directions of their Pakistan-based handlers and received weapons, ammunition, and explosives. Later, they used these improvised explosive devices to trigger blasts,” a police spokesman said. 

Four persons, including two non-local labourers, were injured in these three blasts in Rajouri.

The police said the group was headed by Shah, “who has collected three consignments of arms, ammunition, explosives from Lamberi-Kalakote area in the months of January, March and April this year”.

“Shah, who is the commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), is still absconding. He is the mastermind of all terrorist activities in the Pir Panjal valley. He motivated many youths to carry out terror activities in Rajouri,” the police said. 

According to the police investigation, Shah has been “instrumental in almost all the terror incidents in the Pir Panjal valley, comprising the districts of Rajouri and Poonch, in the last three years. 

“This group was also sheltering a few Kashmir-based active terrorists of the LeT in general area Kandi-Budhal and were making efforts to revive militancy in the Pir Panjal valley,” the police said,

The police have recovered five IEDs, five remote controls, and fuses from the arrested persons.

The Jammu division had zero instances of militant attacks except for infiltrations prior to August 5, 2019, when the Centre ended Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional position.

The Jammu division was rocked by several blasts this year, including the Udhampur market blast that left one person dead and 13 others injured in March and the Katra blast on a bus carrying pilgrimage in May, in which four pilgrims died. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had found traces of explosives at the Katra blast site. 

Official sources said the incident could be the first major attack carried out by militants using a sticky or magnetic bomb in Jammu and Kashmir. A spokesman, Nadeem Chaudhary, of the Jammu-Kashmir Freedom Fighters claimed responsibility for the Katra attack. The outfit warned of more attacks against the “Hindutva agenda” in Jammu.

Meanwhile, the police said the arrest of Shah was “very crucial in solving many militancy cases”.  “The two arrested persons were planning more such incidents to target security forces,” the police added.

In north Kashmir, the police said two persons, who had allegedly come to receive a cache of arms and narcotics to facilitate infiltration of terrorists, were shot dead in Kupwara’s Keran Sector.

The police spokesman said that suspicious movement was observed close to the fence at the India Gate–Bichu pocket in the Keran sector at 12:15 a.m.

“On being challenged, fire was drawn on the patrol party of the Army from the fence side, which was retaliated. On search, two individuals were found dead near the fence and were in possession of four AK rifles, eight magazines and two packets of narcotics. Two more AK rifles along with magazines and four grenades were found on the other side of the fence,” the police said.

The police identified the slain as Majid Chechi and Samsudin Beigh. “They had come to receive the cache of arms and narcotics and to facilitate infiltration of terrorists in the general area of Rauta Nar at the fence,” the Army said.

The police said an investigation has been initiated in the incident.

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Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 8:36:18 am |