LeM chief arrested in Jammu with two pistols, grenade

The Santo Car from which militant was arrested being examined by police in Gangyal police station at Jammu on Saturday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
The Santo Car from which militant was arrested being examined by police in Gangyal police station at Jammu on Saturday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Was planning terror attack in City

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU/SRINAGAR, Feb 6: In a joint operation, Jammu and Anantnag police today arrested a top militant and chief of Lashkar-e-Mustafa (LeM), a frontal organization of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit, from Kunjwani area on outskirts of the City along with pistols and grenade and thwarted plot to establish outfit here.
The militant identified as Hidayatullah Malik alias Hasnain, hailing from Shopian district and chief of the LeM outfit, was nabbed from an Uttar Pradesh numbered Santro Car UP80BN 2708.

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“Hidayatullah Malik, a categorized militant from Shopian district has been caught in a joint operation by Jammu and Anantnag Police.
“The said terrorist is the chief of Lashkar-e-Mustafa, a front organization of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Kashmir valley. Legal proceedings have been initiated and further investigations are on,” Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jammu, Mukesh Singh, said in a tweet.
Two pistols and a grenade were recovered from the possession of the arrested militant.
Sources said he had come to Jammu and also visited parts of Punjab before he was nabbed at Kunjwani on specific input where he was riding in a car. He was reportedly putting up in a rented accomodation from where another suspect has been detained.
“The operation was successful. The militant did make an attempt to jump out of the car, attack the police party and escape on observing police teams surrounding him but he was overpowered by the cops swiftly,” sources said.
They added that an attempt by Hidayatullah Malik to establish base of Lashkar-e-Mustafa in Jammu has been thwarted with his timely arrest. Malik was also planning major terror attack in the Jammu City, according to sources.
Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, told Excelsior in Srinagar that in order to dismantle the structure of Lashkar-e-Mustafa (LeM) the efforts of Anantnag Police led to the arrest of its chief Hidayatullah Malik alias Hasnain in Jammu City. He said that the operation was jointly conducted by Anantnag and Jammu Police.
He said that his arrest was possible after chain of arrests.
“The first arrest in this chain was Ayaz Bhat of Anantnag from whom one pistol was recovered on 18th January. On his disclosure, two more militant associates Rayees Mir of Pampore and Shakir Itoo of Shopian were arrested from whose possession two grenades were recovered”, he said.
He added that four more militant associates hailing from Anantnag were arrested and recovery of two pistols, AK-47 rounds and hand grenades was made.
He said that during the further course of investigation, arrested militant associates revealed that Hidayatullah Malik is putting up in Bathindi area of Jammu and planning major attack in Jammu City.
Kumar said that a special team of Anantnag Police was constituted and deputed to Jammu to launch the operation.
“Today, at about 3.30 pm an operation was launched with the assistance of Jammu police at Kunjwani Jammu. During the joint operation the said terrorist attacked the joint party and tried to escape from the spot but the team while displaying exemplary discipline and dedication apprehended him tactfully because Kunjwani area of Jammu is a very crowded place”, he said.
He said that incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including two pistols and grenades have been recovered from his possession.
He said that he was involved in a car bomb in May last year. The bomb was detected and later destroyed on the spot to avert any major mishap.