Released on bail in a ‘terror case’, Bhat from Kashmir becomes first to get affixed with GPS tracker anklet

The prosecution department of the Zonal Police Headquarters, Jammu, has cited the rare case as new means for “close monitoring of the terror accused” and as one of the stringent conditions for grant of bail under the UAPA

Updated - November 06, 2023 07:37 am IST

Published - November 06, 2023 03:40 am IST - SRINAGAR:

Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, an accused in a terror-related case, has become the first case in Jammu and Kashmir to be tagged physically with a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker anklet to monitor his movement round-the-clock.

The prosecution department of the Zonal Police Headquarters (ZPHQ), Jammu, has cited the rare case as new means for “close monitoring of the terror accused” and as one of the stringent conditions for grant of bail under the UAPA, 1967.

Heeding to the merits put forth by the prosecution, the Special NIA Court, Jammu, in a rare instance, “passed an order directing the Jammu and Kashmir police to affix a GPS tracker anklet on Mr. Bhat”. The court, as part of bail conditions, directed for “strict monitoring of Mr. Bhat” and allowed the use of a tracker.

In a picture released to the media on Sunday, Mr. Bhat, the accused, is shown sitting in a chair as the tracker is affixed on him. 

Mr. Bhat, accused of being an “activist of Hizbul Mujahideen” and raising funds for the outfit, was produced before the Special Investigation Agency (SIA), a special cell of the Jammu and Kashmir police, after his release on bail by the court under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) at the Udhampur police station for attaching a tracker, officials said. Mr. Bhat was arrested for his attempt to “transport the proceeds of terrorism to the tune of ₹2.5 lakh at the behest of Hizb”, they added.

Marred by militancy for the past three decades, the tracker is the first of its kind and will prove helpful for the security agencies to monitor activities of those on bail in the Valley. Hundreds of locals have been detained under the UAPA and for their links with militants in the past four years in Kashmir.

Modern technology

Director General of Police R.R. Swain has been advocating “use of modern techno tools to monitor the security situation” in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Mr. Swain on Saturday directed the security forces “to maintain pressure on anti-peace elements, so that terror groups don’t get any chance of revival”. 

“We have all time low active terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and cautioned that there would be attempts to create disturbance here,” he said.

The DGP also instructed the security forces to “launch operations in higher reaches and flush out the hiding terrorists”.

Mr. Swain highlighted the need to remain “more vigilant against the terror support ecosystem, which is helping terrorists to carry out their nefarious designs”. The police have been instructed to carry out “coordinated efforts to demolish the networks of over ground workers and hybrid terrorists.”

The fresh directions from the DGP comes at a time when Kashmir witnessed three targeted attacks this month, which left one police man dead. 

“Even threatening a policeman at the behest of separatists is crossing the redline for us. The killing of a labourer and a policeman are murders. We have decided to pay reward money of ₹10 lakh to anyone who discloses the identity or helps in busting the network in these three separate cases, which took place in Srinagar, Pulwama and Pattan [in Baramulla],” the DGP said.

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