Families of Budgam men deny allegations, seek J&K police intervention
New Delhi/Budgam: Three Kashmiri men among five were arrested in east Delhi’s Shakarpur area after an encounter, claimed Delhi Police’s special cell. However, families of Kashmiri men have denied the allegations, vouching for innocence of their kin.
According to police, three of the five arrested are from Kashmir and the rest are from Punjab.
Two of the Punjab-based men were involved in the killing of Balwinder Singh in Punjab, they said.
Singh, who received the Shaurya Chakra for fighting militancy, was shot dead in October.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwah said, “On Monday morning, our team received specific information that two Punjab based criminals were supposed to receive some money from three Kashmiris. On this specific information, five people were arrested after a brief exchange of fire from the Laxmi Nagar area in Delhi.”
Three pistols, two kilograms of heroin and Rs one lakh cash were recovered from them along with the two cars in which they were travelling, he said.
During preliminary investigation, it has emerged that there was an attempt to link up militant outfits active in Kashmir with Khalistan operatives by Pakistan’s ISI, he said.
The three Kashmir-based men were supplying money to the other two to carry out targeted killings. The money was from the sale of drugs.
“They were selling drugs and the proceeds were used for financing terror in Punjab,” the officer said.
Further investigation is on.
The three Kashmiri men from Budgam district. They are Reyaz Ahmed Rather and Shabir Ahmed Gojri, both residents of Nasrullahpora and Muhammad Ayoub Pathan of Gondhipora village.
The family members of all the arrested men, according to news agency Kashmir News Trust, vouched for their innocence.
Shaista, wife of Shabir Ahmed Gojri said her husband visits the shrine of Ajmeer Sharif every year and this time another youth from the same village Reyaz Ahmed accompanied him.
“My husband had to pay obeisance at Ajmeer Sharif while Reyaz being a welding expert had to get some stuff from Delhi,” she said adding that on late on Sunday evening her husband informed that he is alright.
“My husband is a tipper driver with clean police record. We were shocked over the claim made by Delhi Police,” she said. She added that Shabir is sole bread winner of family comprising old parents and two little sisters.
Muhammad Shafi Rather, father of Reyaz Ahmed also vouched for the innocence of his son saying he had gone to Delhi for the first time in life. “My son is unmarried who had gone to Delhi to purchase some welding stuff,” he said and sought intervention of Jammu and Kashmir Police.
“My son has clear police record who has been never ever arrested for anything wrong,” Rather said.
Muhammad Ayoub Pathan, a resident of Gondhipora Budgam who is one among arrested by Delhi Police, according to his family, had gone to Delhi to purchase construction material. “We are constructing a house and for this purpose Pathan left for Delhi two days ago to get some material,” his family members said.
Pathan is the father of three daughters and two sons. One of is his son is in police custody for his alleged involvement in Lawaypora militant attack in February this year.
Two militants Zia-ur-Rehman of Arth Budgam and Khateeb of Wagam Bijbehara were killed in Lawaypora shootout on 5 February this year. A trooper Ramesh Ranjan was also killed in this shootout.
“Few persons are still in detention in connection with Lawaypora Srinagar attack and among which is the son of Muhammad Ayoub Pathan as well, but we vouch for the innocence of both father and son,” said the family members. PTI and KNT