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Jammu and Kashmir police probing 'internal hand' in escape of Pakistani LeT militant from Srinagar hospital

Yesterday, two policemen were killed and a captured Pakistani militant escaped in a militant attack in Srinagar hospital.

Published: 07th February 2018 08:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th February 2018 08:45 PM   |  A+A-

Security personnel stand guard during a search operation after an LeT militant escaped from the police custody with the assailants after Lashkar-e-Taiba militants attacked SMHS hospital in Srinagar on Tuesday. (PTI)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: A day after two policemen were killed and a captured Pakistani militant escaped in a militant attack in Srinagar hospital, police investigations have revealed that the arrested militant had fired on the policemen guarding him and police is also probing the “internal hand” in the daring militant attack.

DIG of police Central Kashmir, Ghulam Hassan Bhat told New Indian Express that police investigation into yesterday’s militant attack in SMHS hospital in Srinagar in which two policemen were killed and a Pakistan militant Mohammad Naveed alias Abu Hanzalla, who was arrested in August 2014, escaped is going on.

“We have gone through the footage of the hospital,” he said.

Bhat said only two militants were involved in the attack.

Six prisoners including Naveed were brought for medical check-up to SMHS hospital from Central Jail, Srinagar yesterday. The militants struck in the hospital in the afternoon and managed to free Naveed.

Another top police official said police investigations so far has revealed that Naveed had fired on the policemen guarding him in the hospital and escaped.

“It is certain now that Naveed had fired from pistol on the policemen guarding him in the hospital. We are now investigating where from he had got the weapon.  We are probing whether he had got the weapon in the hospital or was carrying it from the Central Jail,” he said.

The official said police is also probing the internal hand in the militant attack.

“We are questioning some policemen and prisoners in the Central Jail to know whether there was some inside help to the militants in the attack,” he said.

He said police is probing how militants came to know that Naveed was being taken to hospital for medical check-up.

“The attack does not seem a surprise attack. It was a well planned attack,” the official said adding militants had prior information about movement of prisoners.

Sources said it was for the third time that Naveed was brought to SMHS hospital for medical check-up in recent past.

“The doctors in the hospital had advised him a follow-up check after last visit. Naveed alongwith five other prisoners was taken to SMHS hospital for the medical check-up yesterday,” they said.

Sources said policemen also questioned the five prisoners, who were accompanying Naveed from Central Jail to the hospital.

“They were grilled to know whether they had any information about the attack,” they said.

The police also checked the footage of Central Jail to get clues about the incidents.

Meanwhile, Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo today in a purported audio clip claimed that militants of the outfit attacked the police in SMHS hospital yesterday and freed Naveed.

He said the militants reached their hideouts safely after carrying out the attack.

Lashkar-e-Toiba chief Mahmood Shah in a statement to newspapers said Naveed was freed in the attack carried out in close coordination and cooperation by militant groups.

He called the incident result of “apex planning and strategy” of militants.

However, a police official said the Lashkar militants were involved in freeing Naveed.

“Since he was a Lashkar militant, it is but obvious that LeT militants were involved in the attack,” he said.

The official, however, said they are investigating the veracity of the Naikoo’s claim that Hizb militants were also involved in the attack.

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