5 IEDs seized, future terror attacks averted
JAMMU, June 28: Police today arrested two operatives of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) while their associate was absconding as it worked out recent series of explosions in Rajouri district including that took place in Budhal-Koteranka belt and had become a challenge for the cops due to delay in the arrests.
Police have also made large quantity of recoveries from the arrested militants including five Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) which have foiled future plot of the militants to carry out more terror attacks in the border district.
Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit was behind the recent series of explosions in Rajouri district, police said.
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Jammu, Mukesh Singh said the blasts which have been worked out include twin explosions that rocked Koteranka town of Rajouri on March 26 and another on April 19, leaving two persons injured. Two more persons were injured in another blast that took place in Shahpur-Budhal area of Rajouri on April 24.
“Working on leads, joint teams of Rajouri Police and 60 Rashtriya Rifles (14 Sector) conducted multiple raids and search operations at various locations in Larkoti, Targain, Jaglanoo and Draaj areas of Rajouri and apprehended two suspects, Mohammad Shabir and Mohammad Sadiq of Draaj-Budhal village,” the ADGP said.
During investigation, he said, it came to the fore that three accused Talib Hussain Shah son of Haider Shah, Mohammad Shabir son of Ghulam Hussain and Mohammad Sadiq, all residents of Draaj, were involved in these incidents of blasts.
“These individuals, working on the directions of their Pakistan-based handlers, received weapons, ammunition, explosives and later used these IEDs to trigger blasts,” sources said.
They said it has surfaced during preliminary investigation that the group is headed by Shah who has collected three consignments of arms, ammunition and explosives from the Lamberi-Kalakote area in the months of January, March and April.
“Shabir and Sadiq have been arrested and the third accused (Shah) is absconding. Shah is the commander of LeT in general area Rajouri and the mastermind of all terrorist activities in the Pir Panjal area,” the police sources said.
They said Shah has also motivated many youths for carrying out terror activities in Rajouri.
“Shabir and Sadiq were also motivated by Shah to conduct terror activities. Shah has remained instrumental in almost all terror incidents in Pir Panjal districts in last two to three years,” sources said, announcing a “suitable reward” for anyone sharing credible information leading to the arrest of Shah.
Sources said it was also revealed that this group was sheltering a few Kashmir-based active militants of LeT in the general area of Kandi-Budhal and was making efforts to revive militancy in Pir Panjal districts of Rajouri and Poonch.
“This is a big achievement for police and security forces as the blasts had triggered panic in the area and these accused were also planning more such incidents to target security forces. The arrest of two associates of Shah is a big blow to the terror outfit (LeT),” sources said.
During preliminary questioning, they said, the arrested accused disclosed that they had hidden some explosive materials at Draaj forest and subsequently a joint search operation was carried out by police and 60 Rashtriya Rifles, which led to the recovery of five IEDs, five remote controls, 10 fuses, one cover, one cloth piece and 19 battery cells.
“The accused are also suspected to be involved in some more criminal and subversive activities for which they are being subjected to sustained interrogation. Arrest of Shah is very crucial in solving many militancy and criminal cases that have occurred during the past few years in the Pir Panjal area,” sources said.