Says Al-Badr chief’s killing major achievement, 15 youth slapped with PSA for stone throwing in Nowhatta
Anantnag: Two major Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) attacks planned to be executed along the NH-44 and on a government building in Pampore were averted as two modules were busted by the police leading to arrest of at least 7 youth, “radicalised through social media,” claimed Kashmir Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar on Wednesday.
He gave the details at a presser a day after the killing of a long surviving militant commander and Al-Badr chief Gani Khwaja in a gunfight with government forces in Sopore.
“The killing of Khwaja was a huge success for the security forces and I congratulate police in Sopore and other security forces for carrying out a clean operation without any collateral damage,” Kumar said, adding that Khwaja was a point man when it came to arranging logistics, planning attacks and recruiting new militants.
He said that Khwaja had joined militants in 2000 and was a Pakistani trained militant. “He remained behind the bars for a year and worked as an OGW for many years before recycling into militant ranks in the year 2018,” Kumar said.
Meanwhile, all the 7 youth arrested by police in Awantipora with the two different modules are residents of Pampore town in Pulwama district of south Kashmir.
Kumar said that the first module which was busted after tracking down the online activity of Sahil Nazir a BA first year student has also led to the arrest of three other people.
“Sahil had been radicalised through social media, Telegram messaging App in particular and was asked to coordinate with other people to carry out a car bomb IED along NH-44,” Kumar said.
The attack, he said, would have been on the pattern of Pulwama attack of 2019. “The investigation has led us to recovery of a vehicle, Maruti car bearing number JK01E-0690, meant to be used in carrying out the attack,” Kumar said.
The four youth including Sahil, Yasir Ahmad Wani, Muhammad Younis and Kaiser Ahmad have been formally arrested and have confessed that they were planning to carry out the attack.
Kumar said that the explosive as per the detained youth was to come from north Kashmir through another OGW. “A hunt has been launched to nab that OGW as well,” Kumar said.
Another module wherein 25 Kilograms of explosive material was retrieved from the house of Musaib Ahmad Gojri is a resident of Namlabal area in Pampore.
Gojri’s questioning, Kumar said, led to the arrest of two other people and in this case as well the other material needed for an explosion was to come from north Kashmir.
“They were going to use the explosive in carrying out a blast at the Municipal Committee building in the Pampore area,” Kumar said, adding that the police have been on their toes to pre-empt such attacks and have been successful so far.
Also, Kumar said that despite inputs that much talked about ‘sticky bombs’ have made their way in the Kashmir valley the police have so far not been able to confiscate any.
“We are definitely probing the matter and efforts have been made rigorous to try and get hold of these sticky bombs. I myself went to the airport and showed pictures of these bombs to the CISF personnel. We are doing everything possible to avert any and every attack,” Kumar said.
Kumar also said that 15 youth identified for stone pelting in Nowhatta area on Friday were being booked under PSA. “We have a no-tolerance policy against stone pelting,” he said.