The Jammu and Kashmir Police have seized arms, ammunition and explosives from a hideout of arrested Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant Talib Shah in the Draj area of border Rajouri district.
The seizures include six sticky bombs, one pistol along with three magazines, including two Glock pistols and one 30 bore pistol, one under-barrel grenade launcher (UBGL) along with three UBGL grenades, 75 rounds of AK-47, 15 rounds of Glock pistol and four rounds of 30 bore, besides an improvised explosive device (IED) remote with an antenna, according to the police who made these discoveries based on disclosures of Shah.
Shah and another LeT militant Faizal Ahmed Dar from Pulwama were captured by residents of Tuksan Dhok village in the Reasi district on Sunday.
The police described Shah as a self-styled LeT commander who was on the run after his two associates, Mohammad Shabir and Mohammad Sadiq from Rajouri district’s Draj area, were arrested during a joint operation by the police and security forces last Tuesday.
However, the capture of Shah had led to a flutter in J&K political circles after it emerged that he had headed the IT and social media Cell of the BJP inority Morcha in the Jammu province.
On his Facebook page “Talib Shah Bjp Bjp’’, Shah claimed to be working with BJP. His account also has a purported photograph of him with the BJP’s J&K president Raina at the party headquarters in Jammu. Another photograph carried a message: “I support NaMo’’.
BJP’s Minority Morcha president Sheikh Bashir had told The Indian Express that Shah was made incharge of the IT and social media cell of the Morcha on May 9 last as he had already been working for the party for quite some time. “However, he did not attend any of the organisation meetings and later on May 27, he himself quit the party position and the organisation,” Bashir had said.
J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina, however, said Shah was never even a primary member of the party. He described his Facebook page carrying photographs of BJP leaders as “a tactic by terror groups to show themselves as party workers so as to have access to party leaders and attack them at the first opportunity”.
Sources in the J&K Police described Shah as the “mastermind of all terror activities in the Pir Panjal area”, comprising the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, “during the last two-three years”, including killings and grenade attacks. “He had also motivated many local youths to carry out terror activities in Rajouri, including Shabir and Sadiq, who were arrested,” the sources said.
Appreciating the courage of villagers in apprehending heavily armed terrorists, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha had announced a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh for them. Director general of police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh had also announced a cash reward of Rs 2 lakh.