Days after the slain Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander, Bashir Laskhari was killed in an encounter in South Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) Monday claimed to have arrested a non-local, who they said was the close aide of Lashkari and was involved in various cases including Bank robbery incidents.
Addressing a presser here at PCR Srinagar, Inspector General of Police, Munir Ahmad Khan said they have busted an LeT module in South Kashmir by arresting two persons including a non-local who he identified as Sandeep Sharma @ Aadil, son of Ram Sharma of Muzaffarnagar area of Uttar Pradesh. The IGP identified the other local as Muneeb Shah of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
Asserting that the Sandeep was a close aide of Bashir Lashkari, the IGP said that he was detained for questioning after he was rescued from the residential house where Lashkari was holed up during the encounter in Dialgam on Jul 01, this year.
“Sandeep was involved in various cases including Bank robbery, attack on Policemen in Achibal which left six cops including an SHO dead, attack on Army convoy at Lower Munda Qazigund and weapon snatching incident at Guard posted at residence of Justice Attar’s Anchidoora. Besides, the non-local helped the LeT militants to loot ATMs,” Khan said.
“Sandeep was a criminal, he got in touch with Lashkar through one Shakoor of Sopore,” the IGP said, adding that at present investigation is ongoing.
“Besides, receiving and dropping the militants for attacks, Sandeep also concealed weapons looted from Police guards in a vehicle and shifted them to different locations on the directions of LeT.”
“Investigation is going on for ascertaining the roles of his other associates in the crimes. Investigation so far conducted has revealed that LeT in league with criminal network is raising money by looting banks especially ATMs in South Kashmir Range, besides using these networks to further terrorist activities,” he added.
According to the media reports, suspected militants have looted over a dozen banks or ATMs across Kashmir in recent months.
Giving details the IGP said that Sandeep was involved in an attack on Army convoy at Lower Munda Qazigund on June 3, 2017. He was also involved in weapon snatching incident at Guard posted at residence of Justice Attar’s Anchidoora and an attack carried out on Police Party of Achabal on June 16.
“Besides the above, he along with his associates was also involved in number of ATM Loots which includes looting of a bank on 18 June at Momin Abad Ashajipora, K.P Road G.B Stand Anantnag on 21st April, looting of SBI ATM on May 23rd, ATM at Achabal Adda (SBI ATM) on May 31st, looting of another SBI ATM at Zirpora Bijbehara on 16th of June.
The IGP informed that the said module is a part of LET terrorist group. “In pursuance of the said criminal conspiracy, which started sometime in January 2017, the subject and some of his associates (valley based) came from Patiala to Kashmir for carrying out criminal activities. Consequently, the group stayed at Wanpoh and soon got involved in different kinds of robberies including ATM looting in South Kashmir. In these crimes, they worked in conjunction with LET in South Kashmir.
He said that Sandeep along with some other associates were arrested by police post Mir Bazar in a robbery case sometime in March 2017 and remained in judicial custody until bailed out.
Consequently, he joined Bashir Lashker of LET and worked as a key aid. He was present in a house at Brinty Dialgam where the encounter took place on 01.07.2017 leading to the the killing of wanted LeT Commander Bashir Ahmad Wani @ Lashkar @ Ukasha and Abu Maaz of Pakistan, the IGP added.