SRINAGAR, June 14: In a major breakthrough, Srinagar Police today busted a Lashkar-e-Toiba LeT module that was operating in Srinagar and arrested its five members. However, the brain behind the module is still absconding and police have launched a massive hunt to nab him.
The module had planned a massive car blast in Srinagar last month, but timely action by the police averted a major tragedy in the City.
Addressing a press conference here this evening, DIG Central Kashmir range, Syed Afhad-ul-Mujtaba said that four of the arrested militants belonged to Pulwama district while the fifth one is a resident of Zewan-Srinagar. He said the explosive material was procured by the members of the module locally.
“We have been able to crack the conspiracy that was hatched to plant IED in a car at Chanapora Bridge on May 17 and so far five arrests have been made. We are on lookout for the others and hopefully they too would be tracked down soon,” said Mujtaba.
He said the militants wanted to create panic among the people and their motive was to give a message that Srinagar is not safe. He said the LeT militants wanted to disturb peace in the area and their target may have been the security forces moving on the bye-pass linking Kashmir valley with the Jammu division.
Mujtaba said the arrested militants are Ayaz Ahmad Malik son of Abdul Gani Malik resident of Hakreepora-Pulwama, Bilal Ahmad Malik son of Mohammad Asadullah Malik resident of Nowpora-Pulwama, Khursheed Ahmad Bhat son of Mohammad Subhan Bhat resident of Hakreepora-Pulwama, Mohammad Yusuf Lone son of Sanaullah Lone resident of Gadoora-Pulwama and Muzaffar Ahmad Bhat son of Mohammad Amin Bhat resident of Zewan-Srinagar.
“In order to disturb prevalent peace and public orde,r a criminal conspiracy was hatched by the active militants of LeT outfit operating in the Tral and adjacent villages of the South Kashmir. Bilal Ahmad Bhat alias Bilal Lalihari resident of Lelhar-Pulwama, Sajad Ahmad Bhat alias Shadak resident of Zewan-Pantha Chowk and a Pakistani militant Qasim alias Qasim Bhai along with their other associates were entrusted with the responsibility to carry out IED explosion in the Srinagar city,” said Mujtaba.
Mujtaba said that the ultimate target of the LeT module were the law enforcement agencies adding that this would have created terror in the minds of the people. He said Qasim Bhai was instrumental in supplying the ignition gadgets besides imparting training to other members of the module to trigger the IED.
“Qasim Bhai coordinated the whole operation by providing money and arranged other logistics through a well knit over ground worker module. Mohammad Yusuf Lone coordinated with other members of the module to carry out the task. Yusuf used to work as source for the law enforcement agencies but later on switched over his loyalty to LeT,” he said.
Mujtaba said the militants procured a Maruti Car bearing registration number JK-02G 3022 through Ayaz for Rs. 32,000. He said the vehicle was kept in the possession of Bilal and the other items required in the making of IED were also procured through an organized network of OGWs.
“The explosive material was provided by Muzaffar brother of Sajad, who is an active militant of LeT. The explosive material was procured clandestinely from some of the magazines, which provide blasting material to the quarries operating in the Zewan and Khonmoh areas,” he said.
He added that on May 16 the explosive laden vehicle was brought by Sajad, Qasim, Bilal and other associates to the assigned place. He said timely detection helped to avoid colossal loss of human life adding that the explosives were detonated with controlled blasts.
“Militants are always desperate to make their presence felt in the valley more so in the Srinagar city. Since we have busted the module it would take some time for the militants to re-group and create a new module. We are on our job and are trying our best to ensure nobody disturbs peace and calm in the Kashmir valley,” said Mujtaba.