UP cops hunt for two alleged accomplices of Hizb militant

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Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh police are looking for two accomplices of a Hizbul Mujahideen militant who was arrested last week for planning an attack during Ganesh Chaturthi, an official said Wednesday.

The militant, Qamar-uz-Zama (37), a resident of Assam, who was remanded to police custody, has disclosed that he and two others stayed at a rented house in Kanpur’s Shivnagar locality, the state Anti-Terrorist Squad’s Inspector General Aseem Arun said.

While Qamar, who is also known as Dr Hurairah and Kamruddin, was arrested on September 13, the two others could not be nabbed as they had left two days before the ATS crackdown, he said.

“We are trying to track them down. We have also taken the help of Jammu and Kashmir police and hope to nab them soon,” the IG said.

“We tried to understand his life history and found out that in 2008 he had gone to an island country – the Republic of Palau – near the Philippines. Before that he was very moderate but four year ago when he returned he was a changed man,” he said.

Qamar later went to Kashmir and sold clothes there, the IG said.

He went underground along with his accomplice Usama bin Jawed in June 2017. In April 2018, he suddenly surfaced posing in a picture on Facebook with an AK-47.

“We are trying to find out his activities during the intervening period till his arrest. We have come to know that he had gone to Assam, his native place, for 12 days and remained there in hiding, the IG said.

He sought funds from Kashmir and bought a smartphone with some of the money. He had talked to his handlers and came to Kanpur and made these plans,” Arun added.

Qamar was arrested in Kanpur’s Shivnagar locality.

It appeared from his mobile phone that he was carrying out a recce, police had then said. A video clip of a temple in Kanpur was found on it.

The ATS was tracking him for 8-10 when it made the arrest. The National Investigation Agency and the Kanpur police were also involved.

Earlier, the police said Qamar accepted during interrogation that he is an active member of Hizbul Mujahideen and was sent to Kanpur in preparation for an attack.

“The militant had undergone training in Pakistan in 2017 and had joined the Hizb there,” Director General of Police O P Singh had said after the arrest.

Qamar, who failed his BA third-year exam, has a sound knowledge of computers. He has a diploma in computers and typing, police said.

He is married and has a son who lives in Assam.

In March, the Uttar Pradesh ATS had arrested 10 people it claimed were linked with Lashkar-e-Taiba and involved in terror-funding activities. PTI