The Jammu and Kashmir police claimed that it carried out preemptive operations to foil two attempts by militants to carry out IED explosions and at least one of them on the lines of February 2019 Pulwama attack. It said that seven militant associates were arrested from Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The Inspector General of Police for Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, told the media that four militant associates of Jaish were planning a Pulwama-type attack by triggering an explosive-laden vehicle in Pampore’s Khrew area.
Giving details, the IGP said during the search operation, one Sahil Nazir, a resident of Pampore, was arrested after the police had got information about his subversive activities through technical intelligence.
He said his questioning revealed that he was in touch with one Pakistani-based militant commander named Khalid Bin Waleed by means of various communication channels including social media. Waleed, according to the police, wanted to do some spectacular action on security forces. He would then ask militant outfit Ansarul Gazwatul Hind to claim the responsibility for the attack, the police said.
According to the police, Waleed assigned Nazir to carry out an attack in the Pampore area for which he asked him to buy a car. ”Rs 70,000 were delivered to Nazir for purchasing a vehicle. Nazir asked another associate, Kaisar Ahmad, to purchase a second-hand vehicle,” the police said.
A Maruti 800 bearing registration number JKO1E-0690 was purchased from Srinagar and kept hidden in the safe place at Wuyan at Kaisar’s relative’s house, police said.
Two other associates, Yasir Ali Wani and Mohammad Mounis Fayaz, also known as Brooj Malik, were arrested with explosive material, according to the police.
However, family members of Mounis and Yasir protested outside the police station in Pampore on Wednesday and refuted police claims that they were involved in militancy. Mothers of Yasir Wani and Mohamamd Mounis said their sons were innocent. ”They passed 10th class examination recently and are not linked to militancy.” They claimed they were minor.
However, the police said Nazir and Kaiser were involved in militancy for several months. They duo had earlier lobbed a grenade on CRPF in Pampore.
Nazir, police said, was supposed to receive other explosive materials but was arrested well before he could collect them. Apart from the car, the police recovered a Chinese hand grenade, eight electronic detonators from the module.
In another incident, the police busted a Lashkar-e-Taiba module by arresting the three militant associates. IGP Kumar said the module was planning to trigger an explosion in the Pampore area.
Upon information, he said one Musaib Aziz from Pampore was apprehended. During the questioning, Musaib admitted he was in continuous touch with LeT commander of Pampore Umer Khanday. He told his interrogators that he had been handed over a container containing 25 kgs of explosive material aluminum powder for preparing IED. The other parts of IED, he told the police, were supposed to reach him in near future.
Two more militant associates of the same module, namely Muneeb Mushtaq and Shahid Ahmad Sofi of Pampore, were arrested along with explosive materials.
The police said the two would provide shelter, logistics to the LeT terrorists and transport their arms and ammunition.
The Pulwama attack happened on February 14, 2019 when an explosive laden vehicle attacked a convoy of CRPF personnel, which martyred 40 of them.