SRINAGAR: Police conducted raids across the Valley on Wednesday after recovery of arms and ammunition from a goods truck engaged in cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade.
DIG North Kashmir Nitish Kumar told Express that acting on specific information that some arms and ammunition was being smuggled from across LoC through some goods laden trucks engaged in cross-LoC trade, a naka was established by police in Uri area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district yesterday.
He said the security personnel at the naka searched the goods trucks that had gone to Chakoti area of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) and were returning back to Valley.
“During search of a truck bearing Registration No JK03B 1586, arms and ammunition were recovered. The recovery includes a Chinese pistol, 2 pistol magazines, 14 pistol rounds, 4 AK magazines , 120 AK rounds and 2 Chinese grenades,” he said.
The DIG said the ammunition was hidden in a camouflage cavity of the truck designed especially for hiding the arms and ammunition.
The truck driver identified as Irshad Ahmad Mantoo R/o Buchpora area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district was arrested.
Kumar said during the preliminary investigation it was found that the truck driver had received the consignment from a militant operative in Chakoti and was supposed to deliver the ammunition to militants in South Kashmir.
It is for the first time that arms and ammunition have been recovered from the vehicles engaged in cross-LoC trade.
Earlier, in 2014 and 2015, the cross-LoC trade was suspended for a brief time after recovery of narcotics from some trucks arriving from PaK.
A senior police official part of the investigation said during questioning, the truck driver divulged vital information about the module.
“On the information provided by him, police conducted raids in South, Central and North Kashmir to nab the people part of the module. The raids are going on,” he said.
The police official said since a major module has been busted, some arrests are likely to take place.
Police is also going to question the officials and security men deployed at Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) Uri, where the vehicles are checked before being allowed entry into the Valley, he said.
The recovery of the arms and ammunition from the truck engaged in cross-LoC trade has brought into focus the need to install full body truck scanners at the trade points.
The full-body truck scanners can easily detect narcotics, contraband and fissile material.
Former Chief Minister and opposition National Conference working president Omar Abdullah flagged the issue today.
He said in every single meeting with MHA during his six year tenure as CM of J&K, the issue of installing full truck scanners was flagged and followed up. “Thus far there has been little or no progress with those scanners”.
He said it makes the failure of MHA even more glaring.
“Full truck scanners flagged for acquisition with them since Chidambaram was Home Minister,” he added.
The cross-LoC trade, which started in October 2008, is being seen as one of the biggest Kashmir-specific Confidence Building Measure (CBM) announced by India and Pakistan.
The trade takes places four days in a week between J&K and PaK along two routes — Uri-Muzaffarabad in Kashmir and Poonch-Rawalakot in Jammu.
21 tradeable items, including eatables, garments and handicrafts, are traded by traders through the cross-LoC trade.