Nagpur: An alleged Jaish-e-Mohammad operative who was interrogated for over two weeks by Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad for conducting reconnaissance of the Dr Hedgewar Smriti Bhavan in Nagpur last year has been handed over to Jammu and Kashmir police, an official said on Saturday.
Raees Ahmed Sheikh Asadulla Sheikh (26), a resident of Awantipora town in the northern Union Territory’s Pulwama district, has provided vital information on JeM plans to create terror in the state by targeting vital installations, the official claimed. He is a “hybrid” militant who takes part in subversive activities of Pakistan-backed groups while leading a normal life overground, the official said, adding that carrying out reconnaissance of the RSS-linked memorial was his first “out of state” operation.
“Raees came here on a Delhi-Mumbai-Nagpur flight on July 13 last year and checked into a hotel in Sitabuldi area. He carried out the reconnaissance on his own as the person his handler said would meet him did not do so. On July 14, Raees took an autorickshaw, reached Reshimbagh with the help of Google Map, and carried out reconnaissance of Smriti Bhavan by behaving as if he was talking to someone on the phone,” he said.
“He was rebuked by his handler for the poor quality video of the memorial. However, he was unable to carry it out again due to fear of police. He then went to Santra Market, returned to his hotel in the evening and left for Srinagar on July 15,” the official added. The case linked to the reconnaissance was registered under provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act at Kotwali police station here and it was then transferred to the Maharashtra ATS in March this year, the official informed.