JAMMU, Apr 29: Security forces and police have once again stepped up searches for three most wanted militants in Kishtwar district, who remained elusive even after more than seven months of being declared as wanted in a powerful blast outside Delhi High Court on September 7 last year in which 14 persons were killed and scores of others were injured.
Official sources said the Delhi court blast mystery wouldn’t be solved completely till the three militants, who were wanted by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) and carried Rs 10 lakh reward on their head, were arrested as they could reveal many vital clues pertaining to the blast.
Three militants, whose name had figured in the blast, have been identified as Shakeer Ahmed alias Chotta Haafiz, Aamir Kamal alias Kamran and Junaid Akram Malik, all residents of Kishtwar.
Another militant, Mohammad Shaffi, who was being searched in upper reaches of Kishtwar though not being involved in Delhi blast was reportedly accompanying the wanted trio, sources said.
They added that reports available with security forces, police and Intelligence agencies revealed that Chotta Haafiz was hiding in Kidroo forests while Aamir Kamal and Junaid Akram Malik were shifting their hideouts in Dachchan area of Kishtwar. Mohammad Shaffi also kept on changing hideouts in the upper reaches but was reportedly in touch with all three militants.
Sources said security forces and Kishtwar police were in constant hunt of three militants. At one point of time Chotta Haafiz was trapped in Kidroo but he managed to escape giving a slip to police before the arrival of reinforcement.
Plainclothesmen of police and Intelligence agencies besides some local people were also engaged in the search operations against the militants but they remained untraced.
Sources said the major problem being faced by police and security agencies was that they had to capture the militants alive and ensure that they were not killed in an encounter.
“Killing of the militants in a gun battle would mean burial of many clues in Delhi High Court blast’’, they said, adding that special instructions have been issued to operational staff of police and security agencies by the authorities to capture the militants alive.
It may be mentioned here that three militants from Kishtwar have already been arrested by the NIA and Kishtwar police in connection with Delhi blast. One of them has agreed to become approver in the case.
However, sources said, three militants of Kishtwar and two Pakistanis still remained untraced. While three Kishtwar militants were involved in conspiracy, the Pakistanis had transport and planted explosive device triggering blast on the morning of September 7, 2011 in which 14 civilians were killed and over 80 others were injured.
The NIA has already announced Rs 10 lakh each reward on the arrest of three militants. The conspiracy of Delhi High Court blast, as already reported, had been hatched in Kishtwar.