Documents seized during searches
JAMMU, July 23: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Lucknow today conducted joint raids at the residence of longest surviving Hizbul Mujahideen militant Mohammad Amin Bhat alias Jehangir Saroori in Kishtwar in the presence of another Hizbul militant of Assam Qamar-Uj-Zama, who was arrested in Kanpur in September 2018.
While the NIA hasn’t issued any official statement on the raids conducted at Saroori’s residence in the presence of Zama alias Dr Huraira alias Commander, sources said the latter had worked in Kishtwar running a ‘Rehri’ for quite some time and had come in contact with the Hizbul Mujahideen there before formally joining the militancy.
Saroori, whose Tang Gwari residence in Kishtwar town was searched by the NIA and ATS Lucknow teams, is active in the militancy for past more than two and half decades and is presently supreme commander of the outfit for Kishtwar district.
He keeps shuttling between mountainous areas of Kishtwar and South Kashmir depending on presence of the security forces to evade arrest or elimination. Saroori also owns a house at Saroor Mohalla which had earlier been searched by the investigating agency.
Sources said the raiding parties have taken some documents from family members of Jehangir Saroori, who is not only longest surviving but probably the oldest militant in Jammu and Kashmir, aged 57. He is wanted by security agencies in connection with several militancy-related incidents in Kishtwar district and other parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
He managed to escape from encounters with security forces many times. However, his movement hasn’t been observed for the past couple of years now.
On the other, Qamar-Uj-Zama alias Dr Huraira alias Commander son of Syed-ul-Hassan, a resident of Jamunamukh Hozai in Assam, aged around 39, had joined Hizbul Mujahideen in 2017 and was captured by the ATS at Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh on September 13, 2018.
Sources said Zama was also brought to Kishtwar for investigations as he used to run a ‘Rehri’ in Kishtwar town before joining the militancy and becoming an active member of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit.
Zama was given arms training by the Hizbul Mujahideen in Jammu and Kashmir, most likely in the hilly areas of Kishtwar where Jehangir Saroori was hiding.
“A possibility that Zama was lured into militancy by Jehangir Saroori is also not ruled out,” sources said.
Zama, according to sources, had also remained in contact with top militant Osama.