SIT to investigate Hanzullah’s escape

SIT to investigate Hanzullah’s escape
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Officer tells KR that Hanzullah fired at his police escorts, from a pistol that was handed to him

Srinagar: A day after Lashker-e-Toiba militant Naveed Jutt alias Abu Hanzullah escaped from police custody at SMHS hospital, police on Wednesday constituted a special investigating team (SIT) to probe as to how the militant managed to flee.
“Yes, we have constituted an SIT,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Central Kashmir, Ghulam Hassan Bhat told Kashmir Reader. “The SIT will be headed by Javed Iqbal. It has been tasked to bring into light the facts that led to the escape of the militant.”
Iqbal is the Superintendent of Police in Srinagar.
The DIG, however, refused to divulge further details regarding police investigations, claiming that disclosure of such details would hamper investigations.
On Tuesday, militants opened fire in the city’s busy SMHS hospital killing two policemen and freeing Pakistani Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant, Hanzullah, from police custody. The militant was being taken to the hospital with a group of six prisoners for medical check-up.
Meanwhile, a police officer, who is closely monitoring the investigation, revealed that it was actually Hanzullah who opened fire at the policeman escorting him. “Earlier we had come to know that there was a militant following Hanzullah who opened fire and got him free,” the police officer said. “However, now the investigations reveal that he (Hanzullah) was handed over a pistol. He also opened fire on the policemen inside the hospital premises. People have seen it.”
DIG Bhat neither confirmed nor denied if Hanzullah also opened fire on the policemen.
The police officer who spoke to Kashmir Reader termed the militant as “deadly” and “hardcore”.
“I know him as a militant. He is lethal and daring,” the officer said. “He was just 17 when he executed many attacks on security forces. We suspect that he might have moved to south Kashmir from where he has operated earlier.”
Hanzullah, 22, was arrested by police in the year 2014 in south Kashmir’s Kulgam area.
“Imagine, he was just 17 when he was arrested. All cases against him are lodged in Anantnag, Shopian and Pulwama districts,” the officer said.
According to senior police officers, the fleeing of Abu Hanzullah will strengthen the Lashkar, which is facing a crisis of sorts in Kashmir, especially in the south.
Apart from the police, the prisons department has also initiated an inquiry to investigate the matter.