Sunderbani man who took terrorists to Teryath to target pilgrim bus arrested

Terror associate in police custody at Reasi on Wednesday. -Excelsior/Romesh Mengi
Terror associate in police custody at Reasi on Wednesday. -Excelsior/Romesh Mengi

Youth held with snatched rifle in Doda

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, June 19: Police have arrested a terror associate who was instrumental in giving shelter to the terrorists, taking them to Teryath in Reasi district where they targeted a pilgrim bus on June 9 killing nine civilians, seven of them pilgrims, and injuring 43 others. He also escorted the terrorists out of the area.

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He has been identified as 45-year-old Hakim Deen of Sunderbani in Rajouri district. His wife and son have also been detained.
Excelsior had today reported that Hakim Deen and his wife have been detained for giving shelter and food to the terrorists.

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Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Reasi, Mohita Sharma said Hakim Deen was involved in harbouring the terrorists multiple times. Along with providing food and shelter, he also acted as a guide and helped them reach the spot of the incident at Teryath, she told reporters in Reasi.
The SSP said the arrest marks a breakthrough in the case.
“The arrested person is a prime militant associate who helped the terrorists in the execution of the attack. Further interrogation and investigation of the case is going on,” she added.
Over 150 people have been picked up for questioning in connection with the attack, the SSP said.
During questioning, Deen revealed that three terrorists were putting up at his house, Sharma said, adding that the terrorists paid him Rs 6,000, which have been recovered from him.
According to sources, Deen’s wife and son have also been picked up for questioning.
Hakim Deen was present at the site of attack and heard gunshots. After the attack, he led the terrorist out of the area. He made sure that no CCTV footage captured him or the terrorists.
Hakim appeared to have given shelter to some other terrorist groups also at his residence.
Police was questioning Hakim Deen to gather more clues for him. Going by him, number of the terrorists who attacked the pilgrim bus at Teryath was believed to be between three to four.
The Union Home Ministry has already handed over investigations of the case to the NIA.
However, the terrorists responsible for the attack remained untraced.
Meanwhile, Doda police have arrested the youth who had snatched rifle of a Special Police Officer (SPO) in the district and recovered the weapon from his possession.
A joint team of the police and the Army launched a search operation to trace Mohd Rafi who snatched the AK-47 rifle of the SPO from Doda on Tuesday, the officials said.
Rafi was arrested from the Masri forest area by a joint team of the police and the Army.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Doda, Javid Iqbal, who was supervising the operation, said the investigation is in progress and only after Rafi’s interrogation they can find the reason of his act.
Rafi, a resident of Trown village in Doda district, gave lift to SPO Sadar Hussain from Bhela area, the officials said.
When they reached Pul Doda, the SPO went to answer nature’s call. Rafi fled the spot while taking the AK-47 rifle with him.
Panic gripped the security forces and the locals in the Doda district.
The police along with the Army immediately started search operations in Trown, Bhalla and Pranu forest area. The car was recovered from Jagota village of Bhalla and later Rafi was arrested, they said.