Punjab Police on Thursday said that it had foiled a major attempt to smuggle weapons into Kashmir for carrying out terror attacks with the arrest of two J&K-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives.
Ten hand grenades, along with one AK-47 rifle with 2 magazines and 60 live cartridges were seized from the suspected militants.
The two have been identified as Aamir Hussain Wani (26), resident of Hafsarmal in Shopian, and Wasim Hassan Wani (27), a resident of Sharmal in Shopian.
“The duo, actively involved in transporting automatic weapons and hand grenades from Punjab to the Kashmir Valley, were nabbed by the Pathankot police, which intercepted a truck bearing J&K registration number at a naka on the Amritsar-Jammu highway,” Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said in a statement.
DGP Gupta added that the search of the truck led to the recovery of the weapons and ammunition, and the accused, during preliminary investigation, revealed that they had been directed to collect this weapons consignment from Punjab by one Ishfaq Ahmed Dar alias Bashir Ahmed Khan, a former J&K constable. Currently an active militant of LeT in the Kashmir valley, Dar had absconded in 2017.
The duo, during questioning, further disclosed that they had collected the consignment from two unknown persons early this morning at a pre-arranged location on Maqboolpura-Vallah road near the vegetable market in Amritsar. They had then concealed the consignment in the truck, which they had brought ostensibly for the purpose of loading vegetables and fruits from the mandi in Amritsar, according to the DGP.
Punjab Police said that Aamir Hussain Wani has revealed that, on his earlier trips to Punjab in his truck, he had collected more than Rs 20 lakh of hawala money at the behest of his handlers — Ishfaq Ahmed Dar and Dr Rameez Raja, who is currently lodged in a jail in J&K for his involvement in terror activities.
About his previous trips to Amritsar, he further said that he had ferried two armed Hizbul Mujahideen and LeT militants from Punjab to the Valley. Incidentally, both the men are now dead, Amir claimed according to the police. They were identified by him as Hizbul Mujahideen’s Saddam Ahmed Paddar, and Jasim Ahmed Shah of the LeT. According to Amir’s admission, Paddar was picked up with a pistol from near Verka, Amritsar, while Shah was picked up from a Kashmiri hotel near Gurdaspur Bypass, Batala, with a AK-47 and grenade in his possession.
A case FIR under Arms Act, Explosive Substances Amendment Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 has been registered at PS Sadar Pathankot, and further investigations are on to unravel Lashkar’s network and operations in Punjab, said the DGP.
According to Gupta, the arrest of Aamir and Wasim had corroborated recent intelligence inputs indicating that Pakistan’s ISI has been pushing weapon consignments and infiltrating militants from across the border into Punjab, and further to Kashmir valley for carrying out terror activities.
Earlier, on April 25, 2020, Punjab Police had arrested another J&K based youth Hilal Ahmed Wagay, who had allegedly come to collect drug money from Amritsar, on the instructions of slain Hizbul Mujahadeen Commander Riaz Ahmed Naikoo. In that case also, Hilal Ahmed had used a truck for ferrying the drug money.
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