Two youths from Kashmir were arrested on Thursday near Red Fort for allegedly transporting weapons meant for supply to Islamic State in Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK), the Special Cell of Delhi Police claimed.
The duo were identified as Parvez Ahmad Lone (24) and Jamshed Zahoor Paul (19), both from Shopian. They were en route to Kashmir from Delhi after procuring two 7.65 mm pistols from Amroha district in Uttar Pradesh under directions from Omar Ibn Nazir and Aadil Thoker, the police said in an official statement.
The families of both the accused expressed shock at the arrests, and denied that they were involved in any “wrong activity”.
According to police officials, the accused were about to board a bus to Jammu and Kashmir from Kashmere Gate around 11 pm when they were picked up.
“We recovered two pistols and 10 cartridges that the two accused were taking to Kashmir. Delhi was their transit point to supply the weapons. The accused have in the past also sent weapons consignments to their cadres,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) P S Kushwah.
The police have also recovered four mobile phones and claimed that the two accused were using encrypted messaging applications to communicate with other members of the outfit.
According to the police, Lone and Paul met top-level associates from ISJK on the outskirts of Pachgaam village in Pulwama in June, and discussed ways to supply arms to the group.
The Special Cell team, headed by ACP Govind Sharma, claimed they got a tip-off about the movement of the duo, following which the team was dispatched near Red Fort and the accused were arrested from Netaji Subhash Park.
The police have claimed that because Lone pursued a course in Amroha, he had good knowledge of Delhi, hence they used the capital as a route.
Lone is a BTech graduate and competed his civil engineering from a private college in Uttar Pradesh. The police said that his brother Firdos had been associated with Hizbul Mujahideen and later shifted allegiance to the IS. He was killed by security forces this year, after which his brother decided to join the outfit, Kushwaha said. “In April, Lone supplied a 9 mm pistol sourced from Didauli, UP, to an ISJK contact,” he said.
Paul, meanwhile, was pursuing a diploma in electrical engineering from J&K and was in his final year. “He made contact with ISJK during a militant’s funeral and joined the outfit… He also facilitated the travel of Abdullah Basit in Delhi, who was later arrested by NIA,” Kushwah said.
Paul’s father said he was shocked at the arrest. On Friday, the family had lodged a missing report at a local police station after they failed to talk to him for a few days.
“I received a call from Delhi today, informing that my son has been arrested with arms and ammunition… I am shocked,” Zahoor Ahmad Paul, who works with J&K Police, said. “I don’t know what to do next. He was never involved in any wrong activity.”
He said Paul was studying in Awantipora. “He left home on Tuesday and didn’t tell us he was going to Delhi. Maybe he was in Delhi to look for a college,” he said. Lone’s father, meanwhile, said that he last spoke to the family on Wednesday evening. “He went to Uttar Pradesh on September 4, where his college is situated. His phone was switched off from Thursday afternoon. I was worried, and was thinking of lodging a missing complaint today,” Abdul Rashid Lone, his father, said.
“One of my sons died, he was a militant. But I know Parvez, he has no inclination towards militancy,” he added.