SRINAGAR/BARAMULLA: The Jammu and Kashmir Police Monday said they have arrested five 'hybrid' terrorists of the proscribed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit, three of whom were allegedly involved in the killing of a sarpanch in Baramulla district last month.
The arrests were made during separate police actions -- two of them were held with arms and ammunition in the Srinagar city on Monday, while the rest three from Baramulla. 'Hybrid' militants are those who are not listed as terrorists but are radicalised enough to carry out a terror strike and then slip back into the routine life.
Those arrested in Srinagar has been identified by the police as Aamir Mushtaq Ganai alias Mussa, a resident of Khan Colony Chanpora, and Ajlan Altaf Bhat, a resident of Butpora Chanpora. "Srinagar Police arrested two local hybrid terrorists of proscribed terror outfit LeT/TRF. Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition, including 15 pistols, 30 magazines, 300 rounds and a silencer were recovered," Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar tweeted.
TRF or The Resistance Front is an offshoot of the LeT. "It is a big success for the police," the IGP said, adding a case has been registered and an investigation was underway.
Later, a police spokesman said the arrests were made during a cordon and search operation in Chanpora area of the city. A case has been registered under relevant sections of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Arms Act and Indian Penal Code, the spokesman said.
He said it came out in the initial examination that these weapons were sent by Pakistan-based handlers of LeT/TRF and they were to be used for targeting killing of civilians and security personnel in the Srinagar city. The arrested duo was to distribute these pistols to other terrorists in Srinagar, the spokesman said.
Separately, Baramulla Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rayees Mohammad Bhat told reporters in Pattan that three 'hybrid' terrorists of LeT have been arrested in connection with the killing of a sarpanch last month.
"On April 15, terrorists had fired upon Manzoor Ahmad Bangroo, sarpanch of Goshbugh B at Chanderhama orchards in Wussan area of Palhallan in Pattan and his body was recovered," Bhat said.
After the attack, searches were launched in the area by security forces and a case was also registered, he said.
"On the basis of various techint and humint leads, investigation was vigorously pursued. After a lot of hardwork, we have been able to crack this conspiracy which went into the killing of the PRIs and soft targets," the SSP said. He said the three hybrid terrorists have been arrested who had been planning the conspiracy for about six to seven months.
"The current case has links to a grenade attack in Palhallan highway last year. The main conspirator in that case was Mohammad Afzal of Barthipora, Naidkhai in Hanjin area of Bandipora. In this case as well, the links to Afzal have come forward. Various other attacks and modules have been tracked to this individual. This individual is the sort of fountain-head character who was directing multiple sleeper cells and hybrid terrorist modules, providing them arms and ammunition as well as executing these attacks," he said.
The arrested terrorists had also obtained arms and ammunition from Afzal before he was arrested, Bhat said. He identified them as Noor Mohammad Yatoo, Mohammad Rafiq Parray and Mohammad Akbar Parray, all residents of Goshbugh, Pattan.
"The three terrorists divulged the plot which was directed by LeT terrorists Yusuf Kantru and Hilal Sheikh (both killed at Malwah last month) and executed by recently-infiltrated terrorists Gulzar Ganaie (killed in an encounter at Bandipora) and Umar Lone of Wussan (still active and at large)," the SSP said.
The investigation further led to recoveries of arms and ammunition and to a larger web of links between various outfits and organisations on which investigation is going on, he said.
The arms and ammunition recovered included three Chinese pistols, three pistol magazines, two grenades and 32 pistol rounds.
"The successful apprehension of the three terrorists and the recovery of the arms and ammunition has solved another sensational case in Baramulla and foiled major terror plots planned in future in the general area. Interrogation of the apprehended individuals is likely to give further inputs for future counter terrorism operations," he said.