In a major success, Special Operations Group (SOG) Jammu and Gandhi Nagar police in assistance with their counterparts in Jallandhar district of Punjab today arrested three Kashmiri militants in the guise of students, who were affiliated with dreaded militant Zakir Moosa’s Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind outfit.
One of the arrested militants was cousin of Moosa.
After developing inputs about presence of militants, SOG Jammu and Gandhi Nagar police teams left for Jallandhar and in coordination with local police conducted raids at the hostel of CT Institute of Engineering Management and Technology at Shahpur on the outskirts of Jallandhar and captured all three militants with arms, ammunition and explosives.
Arrested militants have been identified as Zahid Gulzar, 18, son of Gul Ahmad Rather and Idrees Shah son of Abdul Qayoom Shah, both residents of Rajpora Awantipora, Pulwama and Yasir Rafiq Bhat son of Rafiq Ahmad Bhat R/o Noorpora Tral, Pulwama, who happened to be the cousin of Zakir Moosa.
From their possession, SOG and police teams recovered one AK rifle with two magazines and 52 rounds, one pistol with two magazines and 31 rounds and one kg explosives, which had been concealed in the hostel room.
The module also had links with the Pakistan-based international terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the police said.
Senior Punjab Police officials, who were privy to the interrogation of the arrested Kashmiri students, said the module was planning terrorist activities in Punjab or Delhi during the forthcoming festive season (Dusshera-Diwali),
SOG Jammu team was supervised by SP Operations Jammu, Sandeep Mehta and police team by SHO Gandhi Nagar Inspector Sunil Jasrotia supervised by SSP Jammu Vivek Gupta.
Official sources said it was being ascertained as to whether the militants had taken arms from Kashmir to Jallandhar or got the consignment in Punjab.
Two students were pursuing B Tech and another BSc.
The DGP said the busting of the module belonging to Ansaar Gazwatul Hind, and the recovery of weapons in Jallandhar, was indicative of efforts by Pakistan’s ISI to expand the arc of militancy on India’s western border.
It may be mentioned that Gazi Ahmad Malik of Shopian was recently picked-up by Punjab Police from Banur, Patiala, where he was studying in Aryans Group Polytechnic College. It was learnt that Gazi was closely related to Adil Bashir Sheikh, the SPO who had fled with 7 rifles from the residence of PDP MLA, Ajaz Mir’s house in Srinagar and was suspected to have joined Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, a militant group.
Sources said Punjab Police is working closely with Jammu and Kashmir Police to unravel the network built by these outfits in the two States.
They said the busting of the terror module indicated efforts by Pakistan’s spy agency ISI to expand the arc of militancy on India’s western border.
“Further investigations are in progress and the Punjab Police is working closely with J&K Police to unravel the entire conspiracy and network built by these outfits/individuals in Punjab and J&K,” the DGP said.
Jalandhar, an education hub, has at least 500 students from J&K at different campuses. Wednesday’s arrests have left Punjab Police worried. “There is a large number of Kashmiri students in the state and their links to terror groups is definitely a cause of concern,” said a senior police official.
On April 27, the police arrested two suspected “pro-Pakistan” Kashmiri hackers, from Jalandhar and Rajpura. Both were students and have been accused of hacking over 500 Indian websites.