In a joint operation, the Punjab Police and the Jammu and Kashmir Police Special Operations Group arrested three Kashmiri students from the hostel of the CT Institute of Engineering, Management and Technology in Shahpur, on the outskirts of Jalandhar, early on Wednesday for alleged terror links.
Stating that they had busted a module of terror outfit Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), police said they recovered arms and ammunition, including an AK-47, from one of the hostel rooms. They said the students, all in their early 20s, also had links with the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
“A joint team conducted a raid at the hostel early this morning, from where an AK-47, a pistol, ammunition and explosives were recovered from the room of Zahid Gulzar, a resident of Rajpora, Awantipora. Zahid was detained along with Yusuf Rafiq Bhatt of Noorpura, Pulwama, and Mohammadd Idriss Shah, also of Pulwama,” Jalandhar Police Commissioner Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said.
According to Bhullar, both Zahid and Yusuf are B.Tech students at the CT Institute of Engineering, Management and Technology, while Idriss is doing his B.Sc. from the St. Soldier Management and Technical Institute in Jalandhar. He said Yusuf “is the cousin of Zakir Musa, a Kashmiri terrorist”.
Bhullar said the police were probing how the weapons were taken into the institute.
“Last night, around 11 pm, the police authorities called us and requested us to extend our cooperation and support regarding the suspected students from Kashmir. When we reached the campus, police asked us to stay near the reception area and let them do their job. After nabbing two Kashmiri students of B.Tech. stream and their guest from hostel room number 94, they covered their faces,” CT Group Chairman Charanjit Singh Channi said.
“We don’t know what the police recovered from their room… We don’t check the bags of every student or outsider because of privacy issues, and we can’t suspect anybody or everybody visiting the campus,” he said.
Police Commissioner Bhullar ruled out any link between the three students and another Kashmiri student from the St. Soldier Management and Technical Institute in Jalandhar who was arrested in April. Punjab DGP Suresh Arora said the busting of the terror module and the recovery of weapons pointed to the efforts of Pakistan’s ISI to expand the arc of militancy on India’s western border.
A case has been registered in the Jalandhar Sadar police station under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Explosives Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Later in the day, the three students were produced before District and Sessions Judge Sanjeev Kumar Garg, who sent them to police custody for 10 days.