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  4. J&K police arrest LeM chief planning major terror strike in Jammu city

J&K police arrest LeM chief planning major terror strike in Jammu city

Following the arrest, police in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday said the arrested chief of Lashkar-e-Mustafa (LeM), an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group, was planning a major terror strike in Jammu city.

Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: February 07, 2021 10:00 IST
J&K police arrest LeM chief planning major terror strike in Jammu city
Image Source : PTI

J&K police arrest LeM chief planning major terror strike in Jammu city

Jammu and Kashmir police on Saturday arrested one of the most wanted terrorists and self-styled commander of Lashkar-e-Mustafa, thus foiling a major terror strike in the Union Territory. According to the police, the arrested terrorist is believed to be from a frontal organization of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). Commenting on the development, a police spokesperson said the arrest of Hidayatullah Malik alias Hasnain, an 'A' category terrorist from the Shopian district, when he was in a private car was made by a joint team of Anantnag and Jammu police from Kunjwani area in the outskirts of Jammu city. 

He said Malik was one of the 10 accused in a case related to the detection of a powerful car bomb which was later destroyed on the spot to avert any major mishap in Pulwama district in May last year. His seven other associates were earlier arrested from different parts of south Kashmir over the past month.

“In order to dismantle the structure of Lashkar-e-Mustafa, the efforts of Anantnag Police led to the arrest of its self-styled chief. The first arrest in this chain was Ayaz Bhat of Anantnag from whom one pistol was recovered on January 18,” the spokesperson said.

On the disclosure of Bhat, two more terror associates  -- Rayees Mir of Pampore and Shakir Itoo of Shopian -- were arrested and two grenades were recovered from their possession, the spokesperson said, adding four more terror associates hailing from Anantnag were arrested and two pistols, AK-47 rounds and hand grenades were recovered.

During the further course of the investigation, he said the arrested terrorist associates revealed that Malik was putting up in Bathindi area of Jammu and planning a major attack in Jammu. 

“Accordingly, a special team of Anantnag Police was constituted and deputed to Jammu to launch the operation. At about 3:30 pm, an operation was launched with the assistance of Jammu police at Kunjwani Jammu,” the spokesperson said.

During the joint operation, he said the terrorist attacked the joint party and tried to escape from the spot but the team apprehended him tactfully from the crowded place.

Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including two pistols and grenades have been recovered from his possession, the spokesperson said.  

Earlier, Senior Superintendent of Police, Jammu, Shridhar Patil said a private vehicle was intercepted by police at Kunjwani bypass on specific information leading to the arrest of the wanted terrorist.

He said the terrorist attacked the police officer leading the party in an attempt to escape but was overpowered.

Officials said another person from Shopian, believed to be an associate of the arrested terrorist who reportedly travelled with him from Kashmir to Jammu, was arrested from Bathindi Saturday evening.

Both of them were living at a rented accommodation in the area, the officials said, adding further details were awaited.

Arrested LeM chief was planning terror strike in Jammu city: Police

Following the arrest, police in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday said the arrested chief of Lashkar-e-Mustafa (LeM), an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group, was planning a major terror strike in Jammu city.

"LeM chief, Hidayatullah Malik, belonging to Shopian district in the valley, is a categorised militant wanted in many terror-related cases," the police said.

The police further said that the information about his presence in the area and strike plans came to light following the interrogation of another terrorist, Ayaz Bhat, who was arrested in Anantnag on January 18.

"Following Bhat's disclosures, two more terrorists, Rayees Mir of Pampore and Shakir Yatoo of Shopian were arrested. Four more terror associates were also arrested," the police said.

"Hidayatullah was arrested from Kunjwani area of Jammu along with two pistols, grenades, ammunition and incriminating material. He was also wanted for last year's car bomb case in Pulwama. The bomb-laden car was detected and destroyed last year. Malik is being interrogated and more arrests are likely after," the police added. 

Also Read | Jammu and Kashmir: 2 Jaish militants, 4 terrorist associates held

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