The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Monday claimed to have busted a Lashkar-e-Taiba module, apprehending an alleged terrorist Sandeep Kumar Sharma alias Adil from the Valley.
Briefing the media, J&K IGP Munir Khan said that Sandeep was involved in a spate of bank and ATM robberies in the state, and was also a part of the LeT group that ambushed a police patrol and killed six security personnel, including SHO Firoz Dar.
“He got in touch with Lashkar militants through one person names Shakoor, a resident of Sopore and when they came to know he can loot ATMs, banks and cash vans then they enrolled him. He used to loot ATMs and share the booty with them,” said IGP Munir Khan.
“He (Sandeep) was a criminal, he got in touch with Lashkar through one Shakoor of Sopore…The militants of Lashkar took help of Sandeep to loot ATMs, and they also indulged in immoral activities in the villages,” he added.
Khan told that Sandeep had come to Kashmir for the first time in 2012. He was even arrested in connection with a criminal case, but was later released on bail. However, after that, he started visiting Kashmir frequently and got in touch with the Lashkar.
The IGP further said that Sandeep incidentally was in the same house where dreaded Lashkar militant, Bashir Lashkar was housed. It may be recalled that Lashkari, who carried a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, was killed in a gunfight with security forces along with his Pakistani associate Abu Maaz in Brenthi village in Anantnag district.
Militants have in recent months looted over a dozen banks or ATMs across Kashmir, escaping with around Rs 1 crore.