Re-cycled militants' gang busted in Kashmir

Re-cycled militants' gang busted in Kashmir

14 January 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Police today arrested a gang of militants who had rejoined militant ranks after serving their detention under Public Safety Act (PSA) and were carrying out attacks in the capital city of Srinagar and North Kashmir. Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) North Kashmir, Muneer Ahmad Khan, said that gang was trapped while police was investigating an attack on a Territorial Army man, Reyaz Ahmad Lone that was carried at Naidkhai, Bus Stand last year. The attack on the Army man was carried out on November 24, last year by a group of militants who struck at Naidkhai Bus in the evening and fired indiscriminately at him. The TA personnel Reyaz Ahmad Lone son of Ghulam Nabi Lone, of Hurpora Naidkhai and two civilians were injured in the attack. The militants took the cover of darkness and fled from the scene. The DIG said that Police and 13 RR swung into action and cordoned off the area when the attack took place. 'A hunt was lunched against the militants involved in the attack and the scene of crime suggested, that attack was carried out by some professional and daring criminals', he added. He said that several suspects were called to the Police Station and examined thoroughly during the course of investigations and finally on January 10 this year name of one Tariq Ahmad Wani with militant back ground surfaced. DIG Khan said that during the questioning, Wani divulged that he along with Mohammad Yousaf Dar, Ghulam Mohammad Wani residents of Pushwari and Ghulam Hassan Wani, resident of Naidkhai in district Bandipore had hatched a criminal conspiracy to eliminate the Territorial Army personnel. The DIG said that all the members of the gang except one Mohammad Yousaf Dar have been arrested and weapon of offence has been recovered by Police and 13 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) of Army. He said that hunt has been launched by the police to arrest Dar. He said that the two members of the gang namely Tariq Ahmad Wani and Ghulam Mohammad Wani are also involved in militancy related incidents in Srinagar, Sopore and Sumbal. He said that cases are registered against them in Police Station Mahraj Gunj Srinagar and Police Station Sumbal in district Bandipora. He said that the duo had been previously detained under PSA and were let off later. Meanwhile, DIG Muneer Khan said that there is 90 percent decline in militancy in North Kashmir's Bandipora district but added that the militants in the district are using hi-tech devices and travel to Pakistan to get the training in handling them. The DIG said that Bandipora was once hub of militancy and now it is down by 90 percent due to continued pressure maintained by the security forces. He, however, said that there are still some elements who want to disturb the peace in the district but added that police and security forces are after them. He said that militants are now going hi tech and police last month arrested two militants who had recently returned from Pakistan after getting training in handling the hi tech gadgets. He said that Kashmir police is always prepared to face any challenge. While responding to a question about recent attack of militants in Sopore, the DIG said that the town was once considered as the nucleus of the militancy, but 'we have squeezed the militants now'. The militancy in Sopore is now limited to a few grenade attacks and mine blast which mainly causes civilian damage and it shows their weakness, said that DIG. When asked about the target attacks on police and political workers of the mainstream parties, DIG Khan said these attacks can't be ruled out as there are still some militants left in North Kashmir's certain areas but police is after them and there is nothing to worry about. It may be mentioned here that last month Bandipora police busted two militant modules one each of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen. They were allegedly responsible in various target killings in Sonawari area. All the three modules were busted by the Police teams headed by ASP Bandipora, Shemsher Hussain. Bandipora is one of the infiltration routes and last year a large group of militants managed to enter the district through Kishanganga river by using specialized boats. However, the Army intercepted the group and some of them were killed, others managed to flee back and some of them entered into the forests of Bandipora.