Srinagar: “On 30th April, 2018, 3 civilians Haseeb Nabi Khan S/O Gh. Nabi Khan R/O Kakar Hamam Baramulla, Irfan Ahmad Sheikh aka Asif Ahmad Sheikh S/O Ali Mohd Sheikh R/O Syed Kareem Baramulla and Mohd Asgar Sheikh aka Afsar Khan S/O Mushtaq Ahmad Sheikh R/O Kakar Hamam Baramulla were killed by the militants in Iqbal Market Baramulla,” a police statement said on Wednesday.
“Initial eye witness accounts of the crime suggested that three to four militants were involved in the commission of this heinous crime who had escaped towards Drangbal-Hajibal forest area,” police said.
“Immediately multiple parties of Police, Army and CRPF were launched in the area in multiple directions to track the culprits. The whole area from Hajibal forest area to Drangbal stone quarries including Kirmani Colony Drangbal were put under continues surveillance for many days . Thereafter suspicious movement was observed by one of the security force parties deployed in the area and thereafter an operation was launched in Hajibal-Drangbal forest area,” Police statement added.
“While zeroing in the target area, the militants fired towards the Army/Police columns, the militants were chased and one militant was overpowered and captured alive in live action in injured condition,” police claimed.
“The militant was immediately given medical treatment and the hideout in which 4 militants had been hiding was busted and recovery of arms and ammunition was made. One more militant Bilal Ahmad Najar aka Sameer S/O Gh. Ahmad Najar R/O Banglow Bagh Baramulla was apprehended near cremation ground of Sikh Community located in the same area being overpowered by teams of Police Army and CRPF.”
“After questioning of the militants, the involvement of Lashkar-e-Toiba militant organization was established in commission of heinous crime of killing of 3 innocent civilians. During investigation, it has surfaced that militants, Suhaib Farooq Akhoon aka Abu Huraira S/O Farooq Ahmad Akhoon R/O Khanpora, Ajaz Ahmad Gojri aka Abu Umair S/O Ab. Rehman R/O Jami Mohalla Baramulla (apprehended) and Bilal Ahmad Najar aka Abu-Sameer S/O Ghulam Ahmad Najar R/O Banglow Bagh Baramulla (apprehended) were involved in the killing,” Police claim added.
Police statement added “It also surfaced that Bilal Ahmad Najar S/O Gh. Ahmad Najar R/O Banglow Bagh Baramulla has actually tracked the movement of 3 deceased civilians, and was assigned the task of identification and spotting the victims. Three militants Suhaib Akhoon and Aijaz Gojree opened fire by AK series rifles while as Bilal Najar used a Chinese pistol to commit the triple murder. As all of these militants are locals of Baramulla they were spotted by eye witnesses who reported to Police and Army.”
“The Pakistani suspected to be involved in these murders in initial eye witness accounts turned out to be Aijaz Gojri who had changed his appearance. All the weapons of offence, i.e. 2 AK rifles and one pistol have been recovered and empty cartridges recovered from the scene of crime have same markings as of those of live cartridges recovered from the apprehended militants and their hideout,” police said.
“After commission of crime, the 4 militants fled from the spot in a sliver colour Alto Car bearing registration number JK01J-0010 provided to them by one Uzair Amin Bhat S/O Mohd Amin Bhat R/O Chesti Colony Baramulla who has been arrested alongwith vehicle in the instant case. Out of the three civilians killed names of two had figured in threatening video issued by Lashkar in year 2016 from old town Baramulla during unrest,” police statement said.
“During sustained interrogation of these arrested militants, the Police and SFs were also able to unearth an LeT module operating in Sopore-Baramulla belt and in all 4 active militants of the LeT militant organization have been apprehended alongwith 06 other Over Ground Workers (OGWs).”
“Multiple raids by Police, Army and CRPF in Sopore and Baramulla areas were launched to bust the militant modules,” police claimed.
“One Kingpin of the module namely Nadeem Ahmad Dar aka Abu Osama R/O Nowpora Kalan Sopore alongwith Suhaib Akhoon had been the main motivators and commanders of the group. Nadeem aka Abu Osama had provided all assistance to these militants in commission of crime as well as supply of weapons to the militants. He has also transported them to Baramulla from Sopore in white Santro car on April 25th. The vehicle has also been recovered.He has been in direct contact with a Pakistani militant of LeT Hanzulla Adnan based in Pakistan,” police said.
“During this investigation Police and Security forces were also successful to solve the cases of two grenade attacks on Police Station Baramulla by apprehending one Naseer Ahmad Mochi R/O Amargrah Sopore. He was provided grenades on two occasions by apprehended terrorist Ajaz Ahmad Gojri and subsequently lobed by him on Police Station Baramulla on 2.12.2017 and 22.01.2018 in which two policemen had got injured.”
Besides a huge recovery of household material, equipment and vehicle, following war like store were recovered from the possession of militants and hideout which include 2 AK Rifles, 2 Pistols Chinese, 4 Hand grenades, 50 rounds of AK ammunition, 4 AK Magazine, 2 Pistol Magzines.
“During interrogation of these militants it also surfaced militant handlers in Pakistan had given clear instructions to them to create atmosphere of terror in North Kashmir Range by eliminating as many civilians as possible. This also explains the killings that had taken place in other parts of North Kashmir i.e. Hajin and Sopore done by Lashkar-e-Toiba militants,” police said.
“The two militant involved in crime had joined militant ranks in October-November 2017 while as the third one joined after murdering three boys on April 30th. The group along with other militants in Sopore-Handwara belt are commanded by one Pakistani operating by code name Abu-Maaz. Other prominent militants of the group Suhaib Akhoon had gone to Pakistan in July last year on Passport and visa from Pakistan High Commission and had obtained militant training in LeT camp based in Faisalabad Pakistan. After returning back via Wagah border he formally joined the LeT group here,” police claimed.
“Police and Security forces are thankful to general public for providing valuable timely inputs that helped to solve the heinous case of triple murder and busting of terror module,” the statement concluded.