Major Blow To LeT, Deputy Chief Arrested

20 June 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Security forces today achieved a major success by arresting deputy of Lashkar-e-Toiba chief commander, Mohammad Qasim, in Kulgam district of South Kashmir. Deputy Inspector General of Police, South Kashmir range, Vijay Kumar, told Excelsior that in a joint operation Kulgam police, 62 Rashtriya Rifles of Army and 18 Battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) arrested district commander, Naveed Jat alias Abu Hanzullah, a Pakistani militant, from a hideout in Sharmpora village of Kulgam district. Kumar said that troops cordoned off the Shampora village and during the search, security forces apprehended LeT deputy chief Naveed Jat alias Abu Hanzullah alias Munnu alias Chotu son of Mohammad Hanief Jat resident of Sahiwala, Multan Punjab Pakistan. 'One AK-47 rifle, 2 AK-47 magazines, 60 AK-47 rounds and one pouch was recovered from his possession', he added. The DIG said that Naveed was district commander of LeT outfit for District Shopian and close associate of LeT chief Abu Qasim. 'He was operating in South Kashmir for the last two years and was involved in the killing of an ASI in Pulwama last year and a CRPF man in Shopian besides snatching of two weapons from them, killing of two policemen near the District Court complex, Pulwama this year and the recent firing on a police party at Shopian in which five police personnel were injured', he added. Kumar said that arrest of Abu Hanzullah is a major success for security forces as he was involved in killings and other militant activities in South Kashmir. Sources said that LeT chief, Mohammad Qasim had met Abu Hanzullah on June 8 after the killing of the divisional commander of the LeT, Bilal Ahmad Bhat alias Bilal Lelhari, and his associate, Mudasir Sheikh, in an encounter at Reshipora, in district Pulwama on June 7. 'Qasim had met Hanzullah to conduct an inquiry into the killing of the two militants', sources added. Kumar said that Hanzullah was operating in South Kashmir since July 7, 2012 and was in Lolab for one year before arriving in South Kashmir. In the meantime, DIG South Kashmir Vijay Kumar said a bullet riddle body of a LeT militant, Zakir Syed Bhat of Sangus, Kulgam, was recovered in Yaripora, Kulgam this morning. 'He had joined LeT three months ago and was killed by LeT militants', he added. Kumar said that police was informed by the locals of village Chinigam, Yaripora that a body was lying in an open field at the village. 'A police party rushed to the spot and recovered a bullet riddle body of Zakir', he added. The DIG said that a local LeT commander Khomani is involved in his killing. Sources said that LeT suspected that Zakir may have provided information that led to the killing of divisional commander of the LeT and his associate in Pulwama on June 7 this year. 'Zakir was also frequently meeting Hanzulla and LeT also suspected his involvement in his arrest', sources added. Meanwhile, in North Kashmir son of a Congress Halqa president was killed by militants tonight at Seelu, Sopore in North Kashmir's Baramulla district. Sources said that militants tonight at around 9:05 p.m. knocked the door of Halqa president of village Seelu, Khazar Mohammad Naiku in Sopore. The inmates refused to open the door but the militants managed to broke the door and after entering the house fired indiscriminately killing his son Nazir Ahmad Naiku and critically injuring his grandson Shabir Ahmad Naiku son of Mohammad Maqbool Naiku. Both Nazir and Shabir were removed to Sub-district hospital Sopore where Nazir Ahmad Naikoo, a Contractor by profession succumbed to injuries. However, Shabir was referred to SKIMS Soura, Srinagar in critical condition. Army's 22 Rashtriya Rifles and Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area and launched the searches to nab the assailants. It may be mentioned here that last year a 60-year old Hizbul Mujahideen militant Mohammad Shafi Sheikh of Zaloora, Sopore was killed outside the residence of Khazir Mohammad Naikoo. And in North Kashmir's Kupwara district, Police and 47 RR busted a militant hideout in the forests of Sangri, Handwara last evening and recovered arms and ammunition from the hideout. A police spokesman said that a joint search operation was launched by Handwara Police and 47 RR in Sangri Forests, Bomdinger Ucher area of Handwara last evening. The spokesman said that during searches of the area a militant hideout was busted. 'During the search of the hideout one AK 47 rifle, two AK 47 magazines, seven pika rounds, one Pistol without magazine, one radio set, 2 UBGL grenades and two hand grenades were recovered from the hideout', he added.