Taking a leaf out of Bollywood flicks, LeT militants from Pakistan tied a red “dupatta” (stole) on a tree to discreetly announce their arrival and waited for a green dupatta that would indicate operatives on the Indian side had arrived to receive them.
The existence of the new code emerged during the interrogation of Showkat Ahmed Bhat, an alleged LeT operative, who spoke about his involvement with the terror group and his association with Abu Qassim, south Kashmir-based commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
36-year-old Bhat, who underwent a polygraph test, has told his interrogators that tying a “lal dupatta” around a tree in Baba Rishi forests, which was marked on the GPS, was the code that the “guests” terrorists had arrived.
Bhat was arrested in connection with the August five attack on a BSF convoy in which two of its personnel were killed. One of the two militants involved in the attack — Mohammed Noman alias Momin — was killed in retaliatory fire, while Mohammed Naved Yakub was captured alive by the locals and handed over to the police.
Bhat is reported to have told the interrogators that he had to tie a green dupatta on the same tree which was a signal to the terrorists that their “reception party” had arrived.
Bhat was late in receiving Naved, Momin, Abu Okasa and Zhargham alias Mohammed Bhai and the four terrorists had roamed in the Baba Rishi forests for two days before they got a signal about his arrival, the sources said.
The alleged overground worker for terror outfit also spoke about two incidents when he was almost arrested by police and army while ferrying the four militants from north to south Kashmir.
The information had got leaked to a senior police officer who got barricades erected at many places. Bhat said he changed the route after he received a call from home that a police team had raided it.
The second time Bhat escaped arrest was when he brought all the four to Wyun forests only to find that the army had managed to enter their hideout in advance.
Bhat was arrested after his name cropped up during the interrogation of Mohammed Naved Yakub.
Besides Naved, an LeT sympathiser Khursheed Ahmed, who was arrested by NIA for allegedly transporting the terrorists from Srinagar to Jammu on two occasions, had also informed the anti-terror agency about Bhat.
Bhat was taken into custody by Jammu & Kashmir Police immediately after the terror strike on August 5 and booked under sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms Act. He was later taken into custody by the NIA on September one.