SRINAGAR, May 28: Security forces averted a major Letpora type car bomb attack of last year when they intercepted an explosive laden car in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district last night but the suicide bomber who was to target a security forces convoy has escaped.
Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh told Excelsior that it was a massive IED weighing around 50 kg, which could have been used to cause a major incident. “The weight of IED is even more than the one used on February 14, last year by militants to target the CRPF convoy, which led to death of 40 security personnel”.
Asked on people behind the incident, he said: “We are working on several lead and will soon catch those behind the incident”. Click here to watch video
Inspector General of Police Kashmir range, Vijay Kumar, told Excelsior that the car was driven by Adil Ahmad Hafiz of Dalipora Pulwama who has joined militancy in March this year and has been trained as suicide bomber by the JeM.
Kumar said that they were planning the attack on a security forces convoy on National Highway from Lasjan to Pulwama today and it was averted by timely intervention of the security forces. He said anther militant of Pulwama, Zahid Sheikh was involved in the planning of the attack.
The IGP said that Valid Bhai and Fauji Bhai, both Pakistani nationals, who are active in South Kashmir since 2018 are behind the making of car bomb. He added that Valid Bhai is an IED expert.
Earlier, Kumar told a news conference that atleast 40 to 45 kilogrammes of explosive material was fitted in private vehicle by the militants of Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Muhammad in a bid to target security forces in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. He said that the timely action by the security forces averted a major tragedy.
Kumar said that security agencies including Police, army and the CRPF were getting inputs about the possible Fidayeen attack by the militants in Pulwama district for last few days.
“Yesterday, lead matured and special nakas were laid at various points. Our men stopped the suicide attacker at two naka points and fired warning shots at both sites. The attacker jumped both naka points and left behind the vehicle late night yesterday at Ayegund area of Rajpora, Pulwama,” the IGP said.
He added said that with the first light, the security forces today found that the vehicle was suspicious and that the Bomb Disposal Squad was instantly called. “After preliminary investigations, we found that the vehicle was laden with at least 40 to 45 kgs of explosive material which include ammonium nitrate, RDX and other material. Earlier, we thought it must be around 10 to 15 kgs,” he said.
“We concluded that 40 to 45 kgs of explosive material was used by militants after seeing that the vehicle went up 15 meters above the ground when the IED was being destroyed”, he said.
The IGP said a militant identified as Adil who works for Hizb and Jaish and two other militants of these outfits are behind the act. “They were planning the suicide attack on 17th of Ramadhan (Jang-e-Badr), but couldn’t do it due to our intensified operations against militants,” he said.
He added that the timely action of police, Army and the CRPF in detecting and defusing the IED is laudable. “I compliment all the security agencies for this successful operation,” he added.
In the meantime, Police today arrested two persons associated with the Hizbul Mujahideen from North Kashmir’s Kupwara district and recovered arms and ammunition from their possession.
A police official said that two Over Ground Workers of Hizbul Mujahideen were arrested in Handwara. “On the basis of reliable information regarding the movement of anti-national elements, Handwara police along with 30RR Langate and 92 BN CRPF laid a naka at Panditpora Kralgund. During checking of the vehicles and pedestrians, two suspicious persons on seeing the naka checking tried to escape from the spot but were chased and apprehended by the naka parties”, the official said.
The official said that the arrested persons on preliminary questioning disclosed their identity as, Asif Ahmad Dar son of Abdul Ahad Dar of Tulwari Langate and Muzamil Ahmad Peer son of Nazir Ahmad Peer of Muqam Shahwali Drugmulla in district Kupwara and on their personal search two Pistols, two pistol magazines and 20 pistol rounds were recovered.
“These associates were active since 2018 and have worked for many HM cadre. They have carried out many financial transactions for HM cadre, transported huge amount of arms and ammunitions to other parts of the valley and were also providing logistic support and shelter to active terrorists operating in the area”, the official said.
Police have registered a case (FIR NO 68/2020 U/S 7/25 Indian Arms Act, 13, 18, 20 UA(P) Act) in Police Station Kralgund and investigation has been taken up.