Punjab border used as IB in Jammu was on alert
Nengroo lured nephew, 2 others into militancy
JAMMU, Sept 27: Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant Aashiq Nengroo of Kakapora, Pulwama in South Kashmir was instrumental in transporting consignments of arms, ammunition and explosives from Pakistan to Tarn Taran in Amritsar district of Punjab through drone which was to be delivered to Kashmiri militants with the help of ‘Khalistan Zindabad Force’ (KZF).
Of seven suspects detained by Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana Police overnight in major crackdown on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) cadre, three have turned out to be the associates of Nengroo while four others “don’t seem to be part of the plot” and might be freed after verification, sources told the Excelsior.
Imtiyaz Ahmad son of Nazir Ahmad, Adil Ahmad and Amir Nazir, all residents of Shopian in South Kashmir, who were detained from Bari Brahamana and Purmandal yesterday in Samba district, were likely to be formally arrested as they were in touch with Nengroo, who was operating from Pakistan for past about one year and coordinating with Pakistan army to facilitate infiltration by militants and smuggling of arms and explosives into Jammu and Kashmir.
Nengroo, according to sources, was instrumental in transporting five to six groups of militants from the International Border in Jammu sector to South Kashmir in the past and was last spotted at Jhajjar Kotli when his brother Reyaz Nengroo was arrested by police while shifting three militants in his truck from Hiranagar to Kashmir on September 12 last year.
Reyaz was arrested while all three Pakistani militants were killed by security forces in two days long gunbattle on September 12 and 13, 2018 at Jhajjar Kotli. Aashiq Nengroo was following the militants travelling in the truck in a car. However, soon after the truck was intercepted, Aashiq had managed to escape and later exfiltrated to Pakistan, where he was coordinating Jaish-e-Mohammed activities with Pakistan army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Both Aashiq Ahmed Nengroo and Reyaz Ahmad Nengroo were brothers, Imtiyaz Ahmad Nengroo detained yesterday at Bari Brahamana was their nephew.
“As Ashiq Nengroo was well versed with infiltration routes especially along the International Border, he had now used Punjab border to push consignments of arms, ammunition and explosives from Tarn Taran in Amritsar district of Punjab using drones,” sources said, adding the militants were unable to utilize the International Border of Jammu sector in view of high state of alertness.
Nengroo was reported to have been helped by KZF cadre in Pakistan as well as Punjab to receive the consignment in Tarn Taran. The Punjab cadre of KZF had to handover consignment of the weaponry to Kashmiri militants like the one they had already given to three Kashmiri ultras of JeM at Amritsar, which was intercepted and seized by police at Lakhanpur, the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir. All three militants travelling in the truck were arrested.
The consignment sent through drone was seized by Punjab Police at Tarn Taran and the militants of KZF were arrested before they could deliver the weapons and explosives to Kashmiri militants.
According to sources, Imtiyaz Ahmad Nengroo detained from Bari Brahamana was in constant touch with his uncle Aashiq Nengroo and had received number of messages from him from Pakistan on his mobile telephone. Imtiyaz had, however, deleted the messages. Police was in the process of handing over mobile telephone of Imtiyaz to forensic and cyber experts for retrieving the messages and decoding them.
“More clues were expected during questioning of the trio,” sources said, adding that all other four suspects detained by the police were being quizzed but might be freed as they don’t seem to be involved in any kind of undesirable activities.
The network was unearthed by police team headed by SHO Channi Himmat Inspector Parvez Sajjad under the supervision of SSP Jammu Tejinder Singh.
PTI adds from Amritsar: Police today recovered a Pakistani drone which was used to airdrop arms and ammunition in border areas of Punjab, the second such seizure this week in the State, officials said.
The damaged drone was recovered in Mahawa village based on the information given by one of the four people the State police arrested on Sunday. They are allegedly part of a terror module of the KZF.
Earlier, the police had recovered a half-burnt drone on Tuesday from Tarn Taran. They had said it was also used to drop weapons from Pakistan to fuel unrest in Punjab and adjoining states.
Akashdeep, one of the four arrestees whose interrogation led to the latest seizure, also accompanied a State Special Operations Cell (SSOC) team of the Punjab Police to the site from where the drone was recovered.
Police officials said the drone was damaged and it could not fly back to Pakistan after delivering the consignment of weapon.
However, they did not show the drone to the media.
The State police had on Sunday claimed to have busted the terror module of the KZF, which is backed by a group based in Pakistan and Germany.
Four members of the module — Balwant Singh alias Nihang, Akashdeep Singh alias Akash Randhawa, Harbhajan Singh and Balbir Singh — were arrested near Chohla Sahib village in Tarn Taran.
Five AK-47 rifles, 16 magazines and 472 rounds of ammunition, four Chinese-made 30 bore pistols, along with eight magazines and 72 rounds of ammunition; nine hand grenades, five satellite phones with their ancillary equipment, two mobile phones, two wireless sets and fake currency with the face value of Rs 10 lakh were recovered from them.
Taking serious note of Pakistan using Chinese drones to airdrop weapons in Punjab, the Army and BSF on Thursday sounded an all-out alert along the entire Indo-Pak border and the LoC.
On Wednesday, the police had said GPS-fitted drones carried out seven to eight sorties from Pakistan to drop weapons which were seized in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district. A Punjab police probe also indicated the weapons were to be used to carry out terror attacks in neighbouring Jammu and Kashmir.