Srinagar: Police on Wednesday claimed to have pre-empted two major improvised explosive device (IED) explosions in south Kashmir by arresting seven people allegedly associated with Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashker-e-Taiba outfits.
Addressing a news conference at the police control room (PCR) here on Wednesday, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that police have achieved a major success by busting two big modules of Lashkar and Jaish before they could carry out IED or suicide attacks in south Kashmir areas.
“Awantipora police foiled a bid wherein Jaish module was planning to carry out vehicle based IED. We arrested a B A first year student, who was motivated through social media applications. After interrogating him, four more youth were arrested. A vehicle bearing number JK O1 E 0690 was also recovered that was supposed to be used for carrying out a car bomb,” he said.
Kumar said that during the interrogation Sahil confessed that he and his accomplices were planning to carry out a vehicle based IED blast with the help of an OGW from north Kashmir.
In another success, the IGP said that another module headed by Lashkar militant Umar Khanday, who was involved in Baghat attack, had persuaded one Musaib Ahmed from Pampore.
“We arrested Musaib and he revealed that at his home there was a container carrying 25 kg of ammonium power that was supposed to be used as IED. During his interrogation, he revealed that the remaining material was supposed to reach from north Kashmir. On his lead, one more youth Shahid Sofi was also arrested. They were planning an explosion at MC building Pampore. In total, seven new militant recruits were arrested in the two modules that stand busted,” Kumar said.
“These youth were motivated through social media networks and handles from across,” he added.
He said militants are changing their strategy to attack forces. “We are alert and plugging the loopholes after conducting security reviews on regular basis,” he said.
Referring to Tuesday’s Sopore encounter, the IGP said that the killing of Al-Badr chief Gani Khawja was a major success for the security forces.
Two militant associates of Khawja managed to flee when cordon was laid. In the ensuing gunfight, Khawaja was killed. He was a senior militant and had crossed over to Pakistan in 2000. He returned in 2002 and was active for five years. Police arrested him in 2007 and he was booked under PSA. In 2008 he was released. Till December 2015, he was working as OGW. In January 2018, he became active with Hizb. In 2020, he joined Al-Badr as its chief,” he said.
The IGP said that Khawja was instrumental in recruiting youth into his outfit.
“He would also receive new militant groups in north Kashmir and also help them to reach South Kashmir districts. He would provide logistics support to militants and his killing is a big success for police and security forces,” the IGP said.
When asked about the reports of sticky bombs making way to J&K, Kumar said it has added a new dimension to the militancy.
“There is information that sticky bombs have reached in Kashmir but it has not been recovered so far,” he said, adding, “We have changed SOP and alerted all forces. I personally informed concerned at airport and also appeal people to share information.”
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