Srinagar: A purported plot to kill a Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet Minister was thwarted by the security agencies, media reports said Saturday.
According to the report, “top security and intelligence authorities in New Delhi have advised the Jammu and Kashmir government to immediately beef up personal security and house protection of the Minister for Social Welfare and Science & Technology Sajjad Gani Lone even as a Hizbul Mujahideen plan to purportedly eliminate the prominent separatist-turned-mainstream politician at his hometown of Handwara has failed.”
The report, quoting highly placed government sources, said that it was being investigated whether the plan to eliminate Sajjad Lone had been hatched up by the ISI in Pakistan or Syed Salahuddin’s Hizbul Mujahideen independently.
The report said that officials claimed to have unearthed a plan according to which a top functionary of Hizbul Mujahideen, who is a resident of Handwara area and based in Pakistan for the last over 20 years, had been lately directed by his organisational head and United Jihad Council chief Syed Salahuddin to arrange for Sajjad Lone’s elimination.
“Authorities have learned that the Hizbul Mujahideen functionary managed to deliver a pistol to a Constable of the Jammu and Kashmir Police in Handwara through a Sopore-based over-ground worker of the organisation, who, ultimately was supposed to pass on the weapon to a youth of Banday Mohalla of Handwara.”
The youth had been given the task of breaching the Minister’s security ring with the advantage of being his neighbour and political supporter during a public interaction and pull the trigger, the report added.
The report said that officials revealed that reward money of Rs 20 lakh had been settled but refused to disclose whether the policeman and the Handwara youth had been arrested for sustained interrogation or they had gone underground.
Independent confirmation to the sensational revelation was not immediately possible. But the report quoted an unnamed officer saying that “We have a meticulous protection plan around every protected person in place. It has not been breached in the last 12 years.