Police Complete Probe, 4 Held
It Has Nothing To Do With Afzal Hanging; Investigating Mir’s Link With Security Agencies: IGP
BEMINA FIDAYEEN ATTACK
Srinagar, Mar 19: Jammu and Kashmir Police Tuesday said they have arrested four persons in connection with the Fidayeen attack that took place last week in Bemina area of Srinagar. The Police however said the attack was not fallout of hanging of Muhammad Afzal Guru in Tihar Jail, last month.
“We have solved the case and have arrested four persons in connection with the attack in which five CRPF personnel lost their lives,” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir zone Abdul Ghani Mir told mediamen during his maiden news conference here after assuming the charge of the post.
Mir de-linked the incident with execution of Muhammad Afzal Guru, saying that investigations carried out by police did not reveal that it was a revenge attack. “We didn’t find any link between these two incidents (hanging of Guru and Fidayeen attack),” he added. IGP said the attack was carried out by two cadres of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), identified as Saif resident of Dera Ghazi Khan and Haider resident of Multan Pakistan.
“They carried out the attack at the behest of their Commander Ahmad Bhai and Logistics Chief Anas Bilal who are based across the LoC,” he said, adding that four persons including a Pakistani militant commander, who have been arrested by the police, facilitated the attack.
Mir, identified the four arrested persons as Muhammad Zubair alias Talha Zaraar resident of Multan Pakistan, Bashir Ahmad Mir alias Haroon son of Mir Zaman Mir resident of Uri, local “co-commander”, Mukhtar Ahmad Shah, a released militant and Pradeep Singh, a contractual employee in Health Department. Mir, however, did not reveal the “individual role” played by the arrested persons in “facilitating” the attack that sent alarm bells ringing in security circles of the Valley.
Replying to a question from journalists about alleged links of Bashir Ahmad Mir with security agencies, IGP said Bashir was arrested under POTA in 2002 and was released in 2008. “We will investigate his links, if any,” he further said.
IGP said during questioning Bashir revealed that they had chosen the target as they expected to find CRPF deployment on Highway as well as standby component in the sports ground. “Since the strike call had been announced by the separatists, he was sure to find CRPF personnel deployed on the highway and usual presence of CRPF personnel deployed as standby component for law and order during strike days in the sports ground of Police Public School Bemina, had attracted his attention many a times in the past as well,”
he said. “They further disclosed that the CRPF personnel in close proximity to youngsters playing cricket were purposefully chosen as a target since that would allow them to inflict maximum damages and had the potential to lead to civilian causalities as well.”
The senior police officer said that police recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition from slain militants and upon disclosures made by arrested militants. These include, he said two AK 47s (with eight Magazines), 240 AK Rounds, one UBGL, 40 Rifle Grenades, 40 Hand Grenades, two Pouches, two Anti Tank Mines, 12 RC’s, one Map, Two light bags, three GPS devices, two Compasses, two wireless sets, two Time Bombs (Charge, Timer and Detonators), Pencil Cell Batteries and a transparent poly – pack containing ” Made in Pakistan” medicines and ointment.
The investigation of the case has been entrusted to a Special Investigation Team (SIT).
IGP was flanked by Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Syed Afadul Mujtaba and SSP Srinagar, Syed Aashiq Hussain Bukhari.
Pertinently, on March 13, in the first Fidayeen attack in Srinagar in three years, militants appeared at Bemina here and killed five CRPF personnel while two unidentified militants were also killed in the retaliatory fire. At least six other CRPF personnel and four civilians were injured in the attack.