3 held for planting IEDs

IEDs recovered from the arrested militants in Rajouri. — Excelsior/Imran
IEDs recovered from the arrested militants in Rajouri. — Excelsior/Imran

LeT module busted in Rajouri

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Feb 1: Police today busted a module of terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba, tasked with carrying out blasts in crowded places and to target security vehicles, with the arrest of three militants in the border district of Rajouri but the militants responsible for killings of seven civilians and injuries to dozen others in terror attacks at Dhangri remained untraced even after a month of the carnage.
Arrested militants have been identified as Mohammad Jabbar of Dharati, Balakote in Poonch district, Majid Dar of Kheora and Zohaib Khan of Manjakote, both in Rajouri district.
Addressing a press conference in Rajouri, senior police officials said the module was busted after an investigation was launched following the recovery of sophisticated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), having pressure and timer mechanisms, in the district.
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“The IEDs were smuggled from across the border to set off explosions at crowded public places and target security vehicles and camps. The arrest of the trio, including the kingpin, prevented nefarious designs of the terror handlers (from being executed),” the police officials said.
An IED planted inside a tiffin box was seized from Kheora locality near Government Medical College (GMC), Rajouri, on January 18 and another IED was found in Budhal area of the district 10 days earlier.
The detection of the IEDs followed a terror attack in Rajouri’s Dhangri village in early January that claimed seven lives and injured 14.
“After the recovery of the IEDs on January 8 and 18, it was clear that the terrorists were looking for another major strike to harm common people. Investigation was speeded up and the first accused, Majid Dar of Kheora, was arrested,” the officials said.
They said Dar’s questioning led to the arrest of Zohaib Khan of Manjakote and Mohammad Jabbar of Dharati village of Balakote, who turned out to be the kingpin of the module.
Two more sophisticated IEDs were recovered on the basis of disclosures made by them, the officer said, adding that they are in remand till February 10 and more arrests and recoveries are expected at their disclosure.
“Jabbar, whose residence falls beyond the border fence, is directly linked with the LeT. He is physically handicapped and was taking directions and guidance from terror handlers sitting across the border,” the police officials said.
Jabbar’s brother Mohd Ibrar is also linked with terror activities and is in jail for the last one year, they added.
Mughal said the questioning of the arrested accused revealed that these highly sophisticated ready-to-use IEDs with over 1,000 ball bearings were smuggled from across the border to set off blasts at vulnerable places and create a law and order problem for the Government.
“They are trying to disturb peace and do not want to lose any opportunity. We are alert to the threat and making efforts to neutralise the threats,” the officials said.
With the busting of this module, many innocent lives were saved, they said.
Asked if the same module was also involved in the Dhangri attack or smuggling of drugs, they said it is premature to say anything right now.
Those present at the press conference include DIG Rajouri-Poonch Dr Haseeb Mughal, SSP Rajouri Mohammad Aslam, Additional SP Vivek Shekhar and DySPs Chanchal Singh and Paropkar Singh.
However, significantly, even after one month of Dhangri carnage in Rajouri in which seven civilians including two minors were killed and over dozen others were injured, two militants involved in the firing and planting of IED, remained untraced.