The Jammu and Kashmir Police Saturday arrested three local Lashkar-e-Taiba militants and seized from them a large quantity of arms and ammunition, said to be airdropped by a drone from Pakistan, in the border district of Rajouri.
Hafiz Yunus Wani of Shopian and Pulwama residents Rahil Bashir and Amir Jaan were arrested after joint operation in Gurdanbala area by the police and 38 Rashtriya Rifles.
The recovered haul comprised two AK-56 rifles along with six magazines and 180 rounds, two Chinese pistols along with three magazines and 30 rounds, four grenades, two pouches and Rs 1 lakh in cash.
Director General of Police, Dilbagh Singh, said the three militants had come to Rajouri, in Jammu division, from the Valley to collect the airdropped weapons and cash. When tracked down, one of them hurled a grenade from the cache at the security forces. The explosive did not go off.
Significantly, this is the third known incident of weapons being air-dropped from Pakistan in Jammu division in the last three months.
On June 20, the Border Security Force had shot down a drone in Kathua ditrict’s Hiranagar sector along the international border. It was found carrying a payload of nearly 5 kg, including a US-made M4 semi-automatic carbine, two magazines, 60 rounds and seven Chinese grenades.
Earlier this month, the police and army had found arms and ammunition near Jawahar Tunnel in Kulgam. This cache, too, had airdropped in Samba sector. Two people were arrested by police in this connection.
The police chief admitted that air-dropping of weapons and narcotics through drones from Pakistan was emerging as a major challenge. He added that counter measures were being put in place.
Singh also said Pakistan was making attempts to revive militancy in Rajouri and Poonch districts which have been largely peaceful for some time.
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