SRINAGAR: The Pakistani Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Sajjad Ahmad, who was captured alive by security forces during a gunfight on Thursday, told interrogators that he and his group had infiltrated from Uri sector this month and they wanted to set up base in Sopore to boost their activities in the sensitive and volatile town of north Kashmir.
Police said captured Pakistan LeT militant Sajjad alias Javed alias Obaidullah was handed over to police by army on Friday morning.
“After taking his custody, he was jointly interrogated by police, army and intelligence officials,” they said.
They said the 22-year-old militant has told them that he belongs to Muzaffargarh, Punjab in Pakistan and after receiving arms and religious training in Lashkar-e-Toiba camps in Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK), he and four others had infiltrated some 15 days back from Uri sector in North Kashmir.
About his mission, Sajjad told his interrogators that they were tasked to set up a base in volatile Sopore area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district to boost presence of Lashkar in the area.
“We were not given any specific task,” sources quoted him as saying but said he told the interrogators that they could have been later shifted to other parts of the Valley by Lashkar-e-Toiba leadership in Kashmir and assigned the task.
They said the captured Lashkar-e-Toiba militant and four others members of his group killed in the gunfights by security forces had visited Sopore and other areas in Baramulla after their infiltration and prior to their detection by troops.
Sajjad told interrogators that he had studied till 4th class and had joined Lashkar in 2012. “He told the interrogators that he had twice made attempts to cross into Kashmir but he failed both times and had to return back to Pakistan administered Kashmir.”
A police official, pleading anonymity, said it appears that Lashkar wanted to strengthen its presence in Sopore and adjoining areas of Baramulla, where splinter group of Hizbul Mujahideen under the banner of Lashkar-e-Islam is active.
The Lashkar-e-Islam group, which is headed by former Hizb commander Qayoom Najjar, had attacked telecom vendors and mobile towers in North Kashmir killing three persons and injuring few others.
The group has also killed four civilians including two activists of hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s party.
Sources said a team of National Investigation agency has reached Srinagar to question the arrested Pakistani militant.
“There is possibility that National Investigation Agency may also take over investigation of the case,” they said adding the arrested militant was today sent on a five day police remand by court of Judicial Magistrate Sopore in Baramulla district.
Sajjad’s arrest comes about three weeks after another Lashkar-e-Toiba militant from Pakistan Mohammad Naved was arrested by security forces with the help of locals in Udhampur on August 5 after he and his associate Mohammad Noman alias Momin had attacked a Border Security Force (BSF) convoy.
Two BSF personnel were killed in the militant attack while Momin died in retaliatory firing by BSF men.