A paramedical student and a recent Class 12 passout from Kashmir, who were allegedly recruited recently by terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), were arrested on Monday by security forces and police in a joint operation in Ramban’s Gool area.
Inspector General of Police, Jammu Zone, M K Sinha, identified the two as Showkat Ahmed Sheikh, son of Ghulam Nabi Sheikh from Awantipora’s Charsoo area in Pulwama district, and Taweef Mohi-ud-Din Dar, son of Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Dar based in Kulgam’s Malipura area.
While Showkat is a paramedical student, Taweef recently passed his Class 12 examination, Sinha said. The two were arrested while they were trying to buy an AK-47 rifle at the behest of LeT commander Naveed alias Abu Talla. Both had planned to buy the firearm and head back to the Valley.
The police recovered the rifle, its magazine, 30 rounds of ammunition and Rs 8,771 in cash from the two.
The rifle, according to a senior police officer, was snatched from an Army man posted in the area in 2011. Quoting an FIR registered at Gool Police Station, in 2011, the officer said militant Ghulam Qadir had killed army personnel Kailash and fled with his rifle. Later, Qadir was killed in an encounter, but the weapon could not be recovered. It appears that he had left the rifle with an Over Ground Worker.
Sources said that both the recruits had got in touch with the Over Ground Worker through a South Kashmir-based middleman and a deal had been finalised for Rs 2 lakh. The two travelled to Hara village in Gool for the delivery on Saturday.
The Over Ground Worker is absconding, the police said, adding that they were also looking for the middleman.