SRINAGAR: Police in Jammu and Kashmir has achieved a major breakthrough by arresting two of the three militants involved in Wednesday evening’s attack on SSB men near Banihal on Srinagar-Jammu national highway in which a head constable was killed and Assistant Sub Inspect (ASI) injured.
The weapons and ammunition looted from the SSB men have also been recovered from the arrested militants.
“Of the three militants involved in Wednesday evening’s attack on SSB men, police has arrested two Gaznafar and Arif while another youth Aquib Wahid is absconding,” SSP Ramban Mohan Lal told New Indian Express.
He said police had launched a massive manhunt to track down three local youth after their role in the attack on SSB men was established during the investigation.
On Wednesday evening, two paramilitary SSB men were attacked from point blank range from a pistol at Banihal area on Srinagar-Jammu national highway. The head constable Ram Pravesh was killed in the attack while Assistant Sub Inspector Shyam Sood was injured. The militants had also snatched weapons and ammunition from the two SSB men
SSP Ramban said the three youth had no militancy past. “They went missing after attacking the SSB men and snatching their weapons.
“We caught two of them Gazanfar and Aqib yesterday evening form the forest area in outskirts of Banihal area,” he said.
He said they also recovered an INSAS and AR 41 rifle and 100 rounds of each rifles from the arrested militants. “All the ammunition looted from the SSB men was recovered from the duo”.
The police officer said they are continuing the manhunt to track down the third youth (Aqib) involved in the attack.
The arrested duo, he said, have told police that the pistol with which they had attacked the SSB men was lying with Aqib.
“They told us that they had got pistol from Delhi. We will arrest the person who had given them pistol,” SSP Ramban said.
Asked whether the trio are linked with militants, he said, “Right now we cannot say so. It is under investigation”.
“We are interrogating the arrested duo to ascertain whether they were in contact with any militant group or were planning to join any of the militant groups operating in the state,” he said.
Blaming radicalisation for the youth going ‘astray’, Lal said, “They were radicalised on social media. Besides, there are also some elements, who lure youth to resort to the violence”.
He said the trio by resorting to weapon snatching wanted to join militancy and create trouble in the State.
“All three had participated in the attack,” he said when asked whether the absconding youth Aqib was mastermind of the attack on SSB men.
Asked whether the module comprised three people only, SSP said, “It is under investigation whether the module comprised three or more people. We are investigating this angle. If it comprises more people, then they too would be arrested”.