AWANTIPORA: Awantipora Superintendent of Police Mohammad Zahid Malik on Thursday said that the killing of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) commander Mufti Yasir in Laam forest of Tral area on Tuesday was a huge achievement for security forces.
Malik made the remark while addressing a press conference at his office in Awantipora, a day after police arrested a militant with a Chinese pistol and live ammunition near Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) Pampore on Wednesday evening.
Malik said that the slain JeM commander Mufti Yasir was accompanied by another commander of the outfit, Umar Khalid, and a local (Kashmiri) commander, Ishfaq Ahmad Khan, a resident of Handoora Tral, both of whom were slain in Tuesday’s encounter.
Talking about the arrest of the militant near EDI Pampore, Malik said that at around 3pm, the police SOG of Pampore, army’s 50RR and CRPF’s 110 battalion laid a naka checkpoint that intercepted a motorcycle rider along with two other persons.
“When the search of the said youth was carried out, a Chinese pistol and live ammunition was recovered from his possession,” Malik said, adding that all the three youths were residents of Pulwama district.
Malik said that as per the preliminary reports, the main accused among the arrested, Shahnawaz Ahmad Dar, resident of Nikas Pulwama, was trying to find an opportunity to snatch weapons from police personnel at Pampore.
“To make the weapon snatching bid they had earlier made a recce in Shopian, in Srinagar, and the Pulwama court complex, but could not carry out rifle snatching due to heavy deployment of security forces. Eventually they made Pampore as their target. They were trying to enter the town with a motive to kill and snatch weapons,” Malik said.
He also said that police had prevented eight to ten youths from joining militancy in Tral area but still 2-3 youth had joined militant ranks this year. He said that police were trying to counsel youths against joining militant ranks.
He further said that no FIR had been lodged against youths who had been prevented by police from joining militant ranks. “Now the onus lies on their parents to prevent them from joining militancy,” Malik said.
He said that the parents of these youths made commitments to the police that their children would stay away from any form of militancy.
Malik also spoke about the recruitment in Zaki Musa-led Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind. He said the group had the same number of recruits as it had six months ago. However, he did not rule out chances of recruitment increasing in Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, which claims to be affiliated to the organisation that Osama bin Laden founded, Al-Qaeda.