Srinagar, Dec 3: Police Tuesday claimed to have arrested four local youth, who were allegedly involved in torching three shops in Baramulla town last week.
On November 24, at least three shops were set ablaze in Baramulla town, which created panic among the shopkeepers.
Addressing a press conference, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Baramulla, Abdul Qayoom said they apprehended four youth after investigating the case for the last eight days.
“On 24 November three shops were set ablaze by miscreants at three different places in Baramulla market. A three-storied shopping complex LibasGharwas completely damaged in the fire. A case under FIR No. 181/2019 was registered under section 436 and 506 of Indian Penal Code at Police Station Baramulla and investigation taken up,” he said.
The apprehended youth were identified as Mohammad Maroof Saliah, Bilal Mehraj Bhat, Sameer Ahmad Shakroo and AadilGaffar Sofi, all hailing from Baramulla.
“A team headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police Baramulla investigated the case. During the course of investigation, CCTV footage available at different points was scanned and it was observed that three of the four persons were moving suspiciously. We arrested all the four accused on Monday night. All of them confessed to the crime,” he said.
Elaborating, Qayoom said one of the accused Sameer Ahmad Shakroo planned the blueprint for torching shops.“At 4:30pm Maroof, Adil and Bilal executed the plan to set these shops ablaze. Sameer bought petrol from Azadgunj petrol pump for Rs 400. Bilal, who is also running a shop in Kanlibagh, paid Rs 150 for buying fuel. They decided to set shops ablaze before 8pm when electricity goes off in the area,” he said.
SSP Baramulla said the main motive behind the act was to create a “fear” among the shopkeepers. “Shops in Baramulla were functioning normally and the accused wanted to instil a fear among shopkeepers so that they close their shops,” he said.
Qayoom said they have recovered incriminating material and logistics used in the commission of crime. “Involvement of other criminals cannot be ruled out. Further investigation is going on,” he said.
Asked whether the act was committed at the behest of militants, he said they cannot say anything as of now. “The investigation in its initial stage and we are ascertaining all the facts,” he said.
‘5 miscreants arrested in Srinagar’
Srinagar, Dec 3: Police in Srinagar Tuesday said that it arrested five “miscreants involved in lobbing petrol bombs and threatening locals, shopkeepers.”
A spokesperson said a group of five miscreants involved in hurling petrol bombs (Molotov Cocktails) and threatening of shopkeepers and locals in the interiors of Srinagar.
“As per the police records, this group was involved in hurling petrol bombs on vehicles of police and security forces in the areas of Sarafkadal, Bohrikadal, Rajourikadal, Khanyar and Nowhatta. They were also involved in intimidating and threatening of shopkeepers and other businessmen based in the old city,” the spokesperson said.
“Officers while carrying out the investigation learnt that the miscreants were forcing minors to track the movement of Police and Security forces’ vehicles in the area,” the spokesperson added.
A case under relevant sections of law has already been registered and further investigation in the matter is in progress, he added.