Taking the lid off a conspiracy to engineer communal tension in Jammu and Kashmir, four youth — arrested in connection with a petrol bomb attack on a Valley-bound truck in Udhampur on Saturday — revealed the formation of a “Maya Gang’’ for carrying out potentially disruptive activities in the district.
While they are believed to be supporters of two local politicians, having even campaigned for them during the last Assembly polls, sources added that the police were yet to find any evidence to establish a direct connection between the politicians and the accused.
Pointing out that their interrogation was a work in progress, sources said that these youth were indoctrinated by some outsiders who visited the district recently.
According to sources, they were shown video clips of alleged Muslim groups carrying out activities against Hindus, especially forcing their girls embrace Islam and indulging in cow slaughter.
A senior official said that the group got youth to carry out its activities on the ground, while some state government staffers — including teachers and engineers — helped it arrange funds.
The official added that these young boys were from the town’s affluent families, and one of them even lived in the neighbourhood of the Udhampur Deputy Commissioner, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary. Even the petrol bomb used for attacking the Kashmir-bound truck was prepared at the home of one of the accused, he said.
According to DIG, Udhampur-Reasi range, Surinder Gupta, the attackers were led by one Kaka.
Two persons had received burn injuries when a Kashmir-bound truck was attacked with a petrol bomb outside a local hotel on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway on Saturday. The victims — Zahid Ahmed (19) and Showkat Ahmed (35), both residents of Anantnag – were rushed to Delhi for treatment.
The night before to the truck attack, members of the Maya Gang had reportedly attacked a Tavera near the Railway Station.
During the interrogation, the arrested accused revealed that they had planned more such attempts in the district to create communal tension. While the boy who threw the petrol bomb had been arrested, police sources said a hunt was on four other accomplices involved in the attack.
In view of the startling revelations by the arrested youth, the district administration on Sunday put up posters across the town appealing people not to get carried away by rumours and also warned rumour mongers of detention under the Public Safety Act. Additional reinforcements were also deployed at vulnerable places.
Meanwhile, except for Tikri where people observed bandh on Sunday, situation remained peaceful all over Jammu region during the day.