SRINAGAR: Police have arrested a Jaish-e-Mohammad militant involved in grenade attack on cavalcade of senior PDP leader and J&K Works Minister Naeem Akhtar at Tral in south Kashmir last month in which three civilians were killed and 30 others injured.
“Acting on a specific information, J&K police, 42 Rashtria Rifles and 180 bn CRPF men launched a cordon and search operation at village Naristan, Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama last evening. During the search operation, a Jaish militant Gulzar Ahmad Dar R/o Tral was arrested,” a police spokesman said.
He said a Chinese pistol was recovered from possession of the arrested Jaish militant.
The spokesman said Gulzar was involved in September 21 grenade attack on J&K Works Minister Naeem Akhtar’s cavalcade in Tral in Pulwama in which three civilians were killed and 30 others including seven CRPF men and two policemen.
The minister had escaped unhurt in the attack. However, some civil officials accompanying him were injured in the blast, which was denounced by militant outfits Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba.
“During sustained questioning, Gulzar admitted that he hurled the grenade on minister’s convoy on the instructions of JeM commanders -- Mufti Vikas, a resident of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) and Noor Mohammad Tantray R/o Tral,” the police spokesman said.
He said Gulzar was earlier active with Jaish in 2014.
“He was involved in a grenade attack at bus stand Tral in Pulwama on December 5, 2014 in which five people were killed. He was arrested and released in January 2017 after 2 years imprisonment,” the spokesman said.
Sources said after his release, he again got in touch with Jaish militants active in south Kashmir and they motivated him to join the outfit and lob grenade on the minister’s convoy.
“The sustained questioning of the arrested militant is going on to know details about the Jaish militants active in the Valley, especially about the group of fidayeen that is planning suicide attack on security installations,” they said.
According to sources, on his disclosure that four foreign militants of Jaish were hiding in a hideout in Pastuna forest in Tral in south Kashmir, a joint search operation was launched by police, CRPF and army men in the forest area early this morning.
“During the searches, militants fired on the search party. The fire was returned by the troops and during the exchange of fire, militants escaped from the area taking advantage of the dense forest area,” they said.
Sources said army had also pressed helicopters into service to locate the Jaish militants.
“However, they managed to give slip to security forces and escaped from the area,” they said.