Former Militants Turn Drug Lords In Kashmir18 May 2011
Srinagar: From militants to drug lords, the terror-machine has come a full circle in the strife-torn Kashmir. Jammu & Kashmir police have busted a gang of former militants who were running one of the biggest drug cartels in the north Kashmir area. Four persons were arrested of whom three were former militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizb-ul-Mujhadeen. The accused have been identified as Muzaffar Ahmad Bhat alias Muza of Batpora Sopore, Irfan Ahmad Gazi alias Raju of Shahabad Sopore, Azad Ahmad Wani of Chankhan Sopore and Arif Ahmad Sheikh of Binner Baramulla. Police said Muzaffar Ahmad Bhat has been an active militant of the banned terrorist organization Lashkar-e Taiba (LeT) who was arrested in 2008 by Sopore police in 2008 under section 307 RPC, 4-5 Explosive Substances Act and was detained under Public Safety Act (PSA). Police said he was later released in April 2009. He had again been detained for militancy related activities in 2009 and released in Jan 2011. Similarly, Irfan Ahmad has been an active militant of Hizb-ul-Mujhadeen who was arrested by Sopore police. He was detained under PSA and released in May 2009. Police said Azad Ahmad Wani is also a released Pakistan Trained Militant (PTM) who was arrested in 1994 by BSF in Sopore while as Arif Ahmad is a driver. Police said following specific information, cops intercepted a vehicle near Mirgund, Pattan on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway. The vehicle loaded with bottles of proscribed syrup, usually used for treating the chronic chest disease patients, was on its way from Srinagar to Sopore.