Srinagar: Police on Thursday claimed to have cracked the Shri Maharaj Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) escapade case by arresting four persons including two militants and two over ground workers.
The police arrested four persons including Shakeel Ahmad Bhat, son of Muhammad Ramzan Bhat, resident of Lelhar Kakapora Pulwama, Tika Khan, son of Abdul Ahad Khan, resident of Singu Narbal Pulwama, Syed Tajamul, son of Syed Muhammad Syed, resident of Puhu Pulwama and Muhammad Shafi Wani son of Gulam Mohi ud din Wani, resident of Singu Narbal Pulwama.
Another accused Hilal Ahmad Rather who fled along with Naveed Jath after the attack joined the militant ranks after his photo went viral on Social media.
Police said that two pistols along with ammunition were recovered from the two militants, Shakeel Ahmad Bhat and Tika Khan.
Addressing a press conference here in Srinagar, ADGP Munir Khan said that the conspiracy to free the Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Naveed Jath was planned for four months by the militantsof Hizb and Lashkar, who are active in the valley.
Khan said that the militants initially had planned to free Naveed in a Pulwama court, However, they were successful in Srinagar.
“Hilal and Tika Khan used to visit the central jail frequently and were in constant touch with Naveed on a mobile phone,” Khan said.
“On the day of the offence, they came to Srinagar and took their positions inside the hospital with a car and a motorcycle,” he added.
“It was decided that on the day of medical check-up of Naveed Jhat the above accused persons will go to the SMHS Hospital in Maruti car bearing Registration No JK01J-9611 belonging to Muhammad Shafi son of Gulam Mohi ud din Wani, resident of Singu Narbal Pulwama and a Pulsar bike belonging to Shakeel Ahmad Bhat son of Muhammad Ramzan Bhat, resident of Lelhar Pulwama bearing registration No. CH01BB-3772,” Police said.
Police said that after the attack Naveed along with others rode the motorcycle and ran away. The other accomplices followed them in a car.
Police added that vehicles have been recovered and stand seized in the instant case.
“They crossed the Abdullah Bridge and went to a location, which can’t be disclosed as the place is under investigation. In the evening, they left for Pulwama,” Khan added.
Khan added that Naveed and Hilal stayed at Tika’s House in Pulwama for a brief period. He said that the house was raided, but they had left the house 10 minutes earlier.
When asked if Naveed had fired on the policemen during the shootout, as he was in handcuffs, Khan said that Hilal was walking alongside Naveed who handed the pistol to him.
“When you see the CCTV footage, it is clear that Naveed is running with a pistol in his hand,” Khan said.
Police said that the freeing Naveed Jath was imperative for the militant outfit as their leadership was neutralised by the forces during operation ‘All out’.
“After Ismail, Abu Dujana and Qasim, LeT leadership was devastated. He was, maybe, the important person in the Lashkar. So they were desperate for a leadership,” Khan added.
“The militants have done their bit. We will do our bit”, Khan ended.