TWO days after Lashkar-e-Taiba commander from Pakistan Naveed Jat alias Hanzulla escaped from police custody while he was brought to Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital, his pictures with Hizbul Mujahideen militants have surfaced on social media. In the pictures, Jat is seen carrying an AK 47 rifle along with two other militants of Hizbul Mujahideen operating in south Kashmir.
In one picture, he is seen with Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sameer alias Tiger, who is active in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. In another, an unidentified militant is seen hugging Jat .
In an audio message on Thursday, Hizbul operational commander Riyaz Naikoo, also based in south Kashmir, had said Jat and other militants who helped him escape from the hospital had reached a “safe destination”.
Police sources have said that after escaping from the hospital, Jat went to south Kashmir. On Wednesday night, a team of the Special Operation Group of J&K Police raided a house in south Kashmir’s Kakpora village, looking for Jat. However, Jat and some other militants had left the house before the raid, police sources.
Asked about the pictures of Jat on social media, Additional Director General of Police Muneer Khan said, “I don’t look at these pictures because this case requires proper investigation. I will not comment on anything which is not confirmed.’’
Police sources said Jat is being helped by Hizbul Mujahideen militants in south Kashmir after his escape. According to the sources, Lashkar has no significant presence in south Kashmir after the killing of its top commanders.
Jat’s escape, police sources said, will motivate the LeT, which faced a setback after its commander Abu Ismail was killed in an encounter last year.