March 7, 2021 5:19:34 am
Jammu and Kashmir Police and security forces arrested an alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba associate in Reasi district’s Mahore town in a joint operation and claimed to have seized a huge quantity of arms and ammunition, including Rocket Propelled Gun (RPG) and mortars, among others.
Arms haul at such a level comes in the district after six years. The development comes just before the three-day Shiv Khori mela, held on the occasion of Maha Shivratri, beginning March 10.
The police identified the arrested person as Reyaz Ahmed, 21 – he was arrested on Friday. According to police, during questioning in the presence of an executive magistrate, Reyaz disclosed that he had hidden the arms and ammunition at a hideout between Makhidhar and Upper Shikari ridge of Mahore tehsil.
A search operation by the police and Army was launched subsequently and two under barrel grenade launchers (UBGL) and mortar grenade launcher (MGL), five grenades, one RPG, three mortar bombs, 80 rounds of INSAS, sniper and AK rifles, besides explosive material, were recovered, the police said. Reasi’s Superintendent of Police Surjeet Bhagat said the seizure also included one AK-47 rifle with 22 magazines and 150 cartridges, one rocket launcher, 16 UBGL grenades, four hand grenades, and two very high frequency (VHF) radio sets with antennas.
The cache was to be delivered to a person from Gool, in adjoining Ramban district, Bhagat said. It was part of the consignment sent by LeT ‘commander’ Khobaib, a resident of Doda who is at present based in Pakistan, the SP added.
On February 18, the police and security forces had seized an AK 47 rifle along with a sealed box of ammunition, one self loading rifle (SLR), one .303 bolt rifle and two Chinese pistols along with magazines and ammunition from Makhidhar forests. These were also sent by Khobaib, according to the police.
With these large-scale seizures, the police said a plan to revive militancy in Pir Panjal ranges, especially ahead of the Amarnath yatra and Budha Amarnath yatra to Mandi, in Poonch district of Jammu division, has been foiled.
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