2 more JeM ultras held from Pulwama; total arrests 5

Joint raids by Kathua, Kashmir, Punjab Police

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Sept 21: In a major breakthrough, police have arrested two more militants of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit from Pulwama district of South Kashmir and was hunting for five more-two in Pulwama and three in Amritsar district of Punjab in coordination with Kashmir and Punjab Police for their involvement in smuggling of weapons from Punjab to the Valley, which were seized at Lakhanpur last Thursday from the possession of three militants, who were arrested on spot.
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Police teams from Kathua with the assistance of South Kashmir police and Punjab Police have been conducting searches at various places to nab the militants who were involved in transportation of weapons from Punjab to Kashmir to carry out terror attacks in the Valley on the directions of Pakistan army and Jaish-e-Mohammed commanders based in Pakistan and PoK.
SSP Kathua Sridhar Patil told the Excelsior that police have arrested two more militants from Pulwama district in South Kashmir taking total number of arrests in weapons smuggling case to five.
Arrested militants have been identified as Suhail Ahmed Lattoo of Gulshanabad, Pulwama and Bashir Ahmed Lone of Rajpora, Pulwama.
They were brought to Kathua today where police took them on remand for questioning and cross-examination with three Kashmiri militants, who were arrested last Thursday from Pulwama bound truck in which they were transporting six assault rifles from Amritsar to South Kashmir for Jaish-e-Mohammed militants.
Bashir Ahmad had to receive consignment from the militants travelling in the truck and then shift it to a hideout of the militants in South Kashmir forests.
More arrests in the case were on the cards, sources said.
They added that at least two more militants of Pulwama district of Kashmir and three militants in Punjab had helped the militants in collecting consignment from Punjab and shifting it to Kashmir.
“Searches were being carried out in coordination with South Kashmir and Punjab Police at various places. Identity of some of the militants has been established and hunt was on to nab them,” sources said, adding that breakthrough was expected shortly.
Cross-questioning of five militants would give police more clues in the case, they said.
The Jaish-e-Mohammed militants, according to sources, were planning to carry out sensational terror strikes in the Valley for which they were in need of deadly weapons. The task had been assigned to the militants, who travelled in the truck from New Delhi after off-loading apples at Azadpur Sabzi Mandi and collected the consignment from Amritsar on way to South Kashmir.
Last Thursday, the truck loaded with empty cartons was intercepted during checking at Lakhanpur on the Jammu-Pathankot Highway. Three terrorists, who were travelling in the truck, were arrested and arms and ammunition, including four AK-56 rifles, two AK-47 rifles, six magazines and 180 rounds of ammunition, besides Rs 11,000 in cash, was seized.
The police had intercepted the truck (registration number JK13E-2000) acting on specific inputs at Lakhanpur in Kathua, when it was on its way from Punjab to the Kashmir valley.
The three terrorists were identified as — Ubaid-ul-Islam and Sabeel Ahmad Baba, residents of Aghlar Kandi in Pulwama’s Rajpora and Jehangir Ahmad Parray, a resident of Pakherpora Charar-e-Sharief in Budgam.
They were illegally transporting arms and ammunition from Punjab to Kashmir to “disrupt peace in the Valley”, sources said.
Police was also trying to find out Pakistan’s hand behind transporting of arms from Punjab to South Kashmir as there were reports that Punjab based militants might have given the consignment to Kashmiri militants for the terror attack as latter were running short of weaponry due to strict surveillance on the Line of Control (LoC) by the Army.