Massive manhunt against Azhar’s nephew in South Kashmir

2 dozen JeM OGWs, sympathizers arrested; questioned by NIA

Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Feb 17: In a massive manhunt launched against Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief commander and nephew of Maulana Masood Azhar, who masterminded Thursday’s attacks on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pulwama, security forces arrested around two dozen Over Ground Workers (OGWs) and suspects of the outfit.
Sources said Mohammed Umair, son of Athar Ibrahim, who is the elder brother of Jaish-e-Mohammad founder and chief Masood Azhar is the mastermind of Thursday’s devastative attack on CRPF convoy. They said that Umair motivated, radicalized and prepared Adil Ahmad Dar, for suicide bombing.
Adil on Thursday rammed explosive laden car into a bus in a para-military convoy carrying troops from Jammu to Srinagar that led to massive outrage across the country.
Sources said that Adil, the suicide bomber, was not allowed to meet his family or friends for last several months as he was being brainwashed, radicalized and prepared for such bombing.
His parents and close relatives were not knowing about his deadly plans of his handlers to use him as a suicide bomber. Now when the bombing has taken place they suspect that it was the reason why he was not being allowed to meet or call his family or friends.
Fahmeeda, mother of Adil said that she had met her son only once that too few months ago. “They (JeM commanders) didn’t allow him to meet us or be in touch with us”, she said.
Sources said that the JeM is selective about taking Kashmiri militants on board as compared to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). They said that there are 67 JeM militants, including 40 foreigners, operating in Kashmir while only 27 are from Kashmir.
The JeM is also making minimal use of cell phones and other devices that are being tracked by the security agencies. They are making use of human couriers that too trusted ones.
The JeM which had minimal presence in Kashmir till two years ago started reviving the outfit here and is now considered to be the most deadly among the militant outfits.
The official said that Mohammed Umair infiltrated into Kashmir from Pakistan last year in September to head the JeM. He crossed into Kashmir through Jammu border and landed in Tral area of Awantipora Police district.
Due to continued operations against militants in Tral, Umair changed his base and shifted to Kakapora area of Pulwama where from he is believed to be operating and masterminded the attack. Security forces believed that he is still in the same area where he has sufficient cover.
Security forces detained two dozen OGWs or sympathizers of the JeM in last few days from South Kashmir in order to get hold of the bombing mastermind. Eight of them were detained only from district Police Awantipora only where bombing took place.
These OGWs or militant sympathizers were picked up during raids in Pulwama area and adjacent district since Friday night soon after the car bombing.
The National Investigating Agency (NIA) this afternoon questioned some of these OWGs about the bombing. They are trying to reach to the top commanders of JeM including its Kashmir chief who they suspect are hiding in Pulwama area.
They have also conducted raids at the house of militants in entire South Kashmir so as get leads about those who masterminded and executed the attack. In Arwani area of Kulgam district they raided the house of Owais Ahmad Malik, who is a militant for last one year. His house was raided last night by security forces and the family said that they were looking for militants as they said that they had information about militants hiding in the house. However, they left after carrying out searches.
Sources said that around 60 kilogramme explosives mostly RDX was used in the attack and security agencies are trying to find out how and wherefrom this huge quantity of RDX reached Pulwama.