February 7, 2021 3:00:25 am
A militant commander from Shopian was arrested after police intercepted a car in Kunjwani area on the outskirts of Jammu city on Saturday, police said. Identified as Hidayatullah Malik, police said he was the chief of the Lashkar-e-Mustafa — believed to be a Jaish-e-Mohammad offshoot.
With the arrest, police claimed to have foiled a plan to launch a terror strike in Jammu.
Inspector General of Police (Jammu) Mukesh Singh said, “Hidayatullah Malik was a categorised terrorist from Shopian. Legal proceedings have been initiated and further investigations are on.” According to sources, Malik was proceeding towards Jammu city from Samba side in a car with a UP registration number, and appeared to have taken the Udhampur-Dhar route on the Jammu-Kathua national highway to avoid Ban toll plaza near Nagrota in order to avoid increased security. However, police, who were regulating traffic after a farmers’ blockade in the area, intercepted his car and found arms and ammunition inside, sources said.
Jammu SSP Shridhar Patil also reached the spot. Trying to escape, Malik allegedly attacked Kunjwani SHO Raghubir Singh with a sharp-edged weapon but was overpowered, according to sources. Police said Malik is being questioned and more arrests are likely to follow.
Last week, nearly half-a-dozen Lashkar-e-Mustafa militants were arrested and a car with arms and ammunition seized in the Valley, police said. Those arrested had conducted recce of security establishments in Anantnag and Bijbehara. Lashkar-e-Mustafa made its presence felt in Kashmir in August last year when it looted Rs 60 lakh from J&K Bank’s cash delivery van in Shopian. Later, two LeM militants were gunned down in an encounter in the area on November 10 last year.
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