NEW DELHI: ‘Target Terrorist Commanders’ is the new message from former superspy and the current National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval. Doval’s directive, in the wake of confessions made by the arrested Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Naved, has been conveyed to the agencies so as to launch headhunting in the identified areas.
LeT operative Majid Zargar, sources said, is assisted by his two deputies - Ahmad and Mudassir - both trained by LeT in its camp in Muridke and Muzaffarabad. Pugmarks of Zargar, Ahmad and Mudassir have been tracked by the agencies in Arwani, Quimoh, Wampora, Redwani, Kujjar, Baan and Chadder areas of the Kashmir Valley.
“They are being helped by over-ground operatives in terms of logistics. It is not yet clear when they infiltrated but recent chatters indicate that Mudassir, who is suspected to be a local, might be providing assistance to other terrorist operatives,” sources said.
The LeT, though banned by Pakistan, the US, the UK and India, uses Jamat-ud Dawa, a charity organisation, to disguise its terror activities. According to sources, LeT has been asked by the ISI to carry out strikes in peaceful areas of Jammu and Kashmir and that is the reason why they first attacked Rajbagh Police Station in Kathua on March 20, followed by an attack on Army camp in Samba the next day. Terrorists, earlier interrogated by security and intelligence officials, confirmed that training and logistic support is provided to them in Pakistan, and then subsequently infiltrate into India.
Three LeT Modules
According to intelligence sources, at least three LeT modules might have strengthened their hold in the state to carry out terror strikes as well assist the movement of infiltrating fidayeen. A separate module is suspected to be active in Batpora which is headed by Showkat, who may have infiltrated Panzgam in August last year. It is learnt that Showkat and another LeT commander Irshad alias Naveed could be behind attack on BSF convoy in Pampore on August 12, 2014.
Chatters between terrorists and their handlers based in Pakistan, intercepted by the central intelligence agencies, indicate that Showkat and Naveed could be operating from their hideouts in Padderpora, Nagbal, Pampore and Galender, after their associate Huzaifa was killed by the security forces. The intercepts also found their footprints in Charsoo, Nehama, Lam and Lasipora. The sources also point out to the local support for the terrorist commander, adding that at least three LeT over-ground operatives--Haseeb, Adnan and Shariq--might be providing logistical support to the terrorists coming from Pakistan. These three operatives, the security establishment suspects, are operating from Ratsuna and Buchu area of Tral and a massive operation has been launched to neutralise them.
A manhunt has also been launched to target another LeT commander Waseem Shah alias Abu Usman. According to sources, Shah was trained by LeT in Pakistan and after arrest of Naved (the Udhampur attacker), security and intelligence agencies have launched an operation to flush out Shah (code named Abu Usman) and two of his deputies--Adil and Mushtaq.
Shah, sources said, could be behind the last month’s attack on a Deputy Sarpanch in Pehlepora village of Shopian in Jammu and Kashmir. In May, the security forces had busted a hideout in Shopian and recovered arms, ammunition, a GPS set and a Thuraya satellite phone. The terrorists, however, gave the slip to the raiding party. According to sources, the hideout was possibly linked to Abu Usman who, they suspect, may have made Heff Shirmal and Chak Yaripora as his safe hideout.
Express had in July reported that LeT Commander Abu Qasim and his deputy Abu Dujana were helping Pakistan-trained terrorists to mount attacks in hinterland. Electronic interception had indicated that Qasim and Dujana were moving in the areas of Bogund, Baan and Khudwani.
It is not just the LeT, but the penetration of two other major terror outfits--Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and Jaish-e-Mohammad--in the valley also poses serious threats for Team Doval. According to sources, these outfits too were shifting the focus on to the hinterland beyond the valley in order to garner maximum propaganda. In the last seven months, at least 51 terrorists were neutralised by the security forces.
According to government data, in 2014, a total 110 terrorists were killed in encounter with security forces. However, trained by Pakistan-based terror outfits and sponsored by ISI, they keep coming to India to carry out strikes.
According to top officials, at least 80 of the total terrorists killed by the security forces since January 2014 were Pakistani nationals.