RAJOURI/JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday claimed to have busted a module of terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, tasked with carrying out blasts in crowded places and to target security vehicles, with the arrest of three people.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Rajouri, Haseeb Mughal said the module was busted after an investigation was launched following the recovery of sophisticated improvised explosive devices (IEDs), having pressure and timer mechanisms, in the district.
“The IEDs were smuggled from across the border to set off explosions at crowded public places and target security vehicles and camps. The arrest of the trio, including the kingpin, prevented nefarious designs of the terror handlers (from being executed),” Mughal told reporters in Rajouri.
An IED planted inside a tiffin box was seized from Kheora locality near Government Medical College (GMC), Rajouri, on January 18 and another IED was found in Budhal area of the district 10 days earlier.
The detection of the IEDs followed a terror attack in Rajouri’s Dhangri village in early January that claimed seven lives and injured 14.
“After the recovery of the IEDs on January 8 and 18, it was clear that the terrorists were looking for another major strike to harm common people. Investigation was speeded up and the first accused, Majid Dar of Kheora, was arrested,” the DIG Mughal said.
He said Dar’s questioning led to the arrest of Zohaib Khan of Manjakote and Mohammad Jabbar of Dharati village of Balakote, who turned out to be the kingpin of the module.
Two more sophisticated IEDs were recovered on the basis of disclosures made by them, the officer said, adding that they are in remand till February 10 and more arrests and recoveries are expected at their disclosure.
“Jabbar, whose residence falls beyond the border fence, is directly linked with the LeT. He is physically handicapped and was taking directions and guidance from terror handlers sitting across the border,” he said.
Jabbar’s brother Mohd Ibrar is also linked with terror activities and is in jail for the last one year, he added.
Mughal said the questioning of the arrested accused revealed that these highly sophisticated ready-to-use IEDs with over 1,000 ball bearings were smuggled from across the border to set off blasts at vulnerable places and create a law and order problem for the government.
“They are trying to disturb peace and do not want to lose any opportunity. We are alert to the threat and making efforts to neutralise the threats,” the officer said.
With the busting of this module, many innocent lives were saved, he said.
Asked if the same module was also involved in the Dhangri attack or smuggling of drugs, he said it is premature to say anything right now.
Meanwhile, Security forces on Wednesday recovered a grenade from Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, sources said.
The grenade was recovered from the Sanglaini area of Surankote tehsil, they said.
This follows the recovery of another grenade near the home of prominent Gujjar leader and former Surankote MLA Choudhary Mohammad Akram in the tehsil’s Lasana area on January 26.
An explosion was reported at his home on January 21.