A major terror attack has been averted before the Republic Day as Srinagar police busted a module of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The police have arrested five operatives associated with the terror group helmed by Masood Azhar, who is on the UN-designated terrorist list.
Jaish-e-Mohammed has been behind several terrorist attacks on Indian soil, the later was the Pulwama terror attack, which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir in February last.
In the major bust, the Srinagar police recovered a huge cache of explosives.
The arrested terrorists have been identified as Aijaz Ahmed Sheikh, Umar Hameed Sheikh, Imtiyaz Ahmed Chikla, Sahil Farooq Gojri and Naseer Ahmed Mir.
“This is a major success, the Srinagar Police has busted Jaish Module averting a terror attack,” J&K Police DGP Dilbagh Singh told India Today.
Amongst huge cache of arms and ammunition, the police have recovered a vest laded with explosives. A source in the security grid said fixing these materials to a vest and making an RC-IED (remote control IED) out of it requires precision and skill. “This can not and not be achieved by novices,” the source said. Over 140 gelatine sticks and 40 detonators were also recovered.
Two blast cases resolved
With Thursday’s arrests, Srinagar police have claimed that it has resolved two cases of recent blasts in the Valley.
On January 8, a low-intensity explosion had rocked Habbak crossing, resulting in minor injuries to some civilians. A similar grenade attack which had taken place near Sir Syed Gate, Kashmir University, on November 26, 2019.
The police made the bust during the investigation in these blasts, an official statement said.
Acting on artificial and human intelligence inputs, the police conducted raids at hideouts and homes of the suspected persons and arrested two people, Aijaz Ahmad Sheikh and Umar Hameed Sheikh, suspected to be associated with Pak terror outfit Jaish.
During interrogation, the two suspects admitted to their role in January 8 blast and provided leads for November 26 grenade attack, the statement said.
Following the fresh leads, the police arrested Imtiyaz Ahmed Chikla, Sahil Farooq Gojri and Naseer Ahmad Mir.
Subsequent interrogation led the police to raid a house where the explosives had been stored.
“It appears that they were planning a major IED/Fidayeen attack leading up to 26th January 2020. Moreover, their primary aim behind the attacks was to subvert the return of normalcy in the region. Further investigation is underway to ascertain their role in other similar incidents in the city, and more arrests and recoveries are anticipated,” the official statement said.
(With inputs from Kamaljit Kaur Sandhu in New Delhi and ANI)