Srinagar, May 9: Police on Wednesday claimed to have been successful in arresting the militants involved in this gruesome murder that shook the conscience of all across the state.
According to police, “On 30th April at about 8:35 pm, few unknown armed personnel made their appearance at Iqbal Market old town Baramulla and brutally assassinated three civilians on the roadside who were later identified as Haseeb Nabi Khan, son of Gh. Nabi Khan, resident of Kakar Hamam Baramulla, Irfan Ahmad Sheikh alias Asif Ahmad Sheikh, son of Ali Mohd Sheikh resident of Syed Kareem Baramulla and Mohd Asgar Sheikh alias Afsar Khan, son of Mushtaq Ahmad Sheikh, resident of Kakar Hamam Baramulla.”
Onlookers who witnessed the crime revealed that three to four militants appeared at the scene and fired several rounds on a group of youngsters and later disappeared towards Drangbal-Hajibal forest area after committing the brutal murder.
Baramulla police swiftly acted on the initial tips provided by the locals and several teams were tasked to carry out the searches in the forest area of Drangbal-Hajibal for nabbing the culprits.
The entire area from Forests of Hajibal to Drangbal stone quarries including Kirmani Colony Drangbal were put under constant watch.
One of the teams deputed on a watch-out observed some suspicious movement inside the forest area and soon search parties were sent in to clear the air.
When the search party started closing in around the suspicious area, militants hiding inside fired upon the search party. However the search party in their measured response tactfully overpowered one militant who received minor injuries in this incident.
The injured militant was immediately given medical treatment and the hideout in which four militants had been hiding was busted and some arms and ammunition were also recovered.
Another militant Bilal Ahmad Najar alias Sameer, son of Gh. Ahmad Najar, resident of Banglow Bagh Baramulla was nabbed after joint team of Police, Army and CRPF overpowered him near cremation ground earmarked for Sikh Community in the vicinity of Banglow Bagh.
After questioning the arrested militants, the involvement of outlawed militant organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba was established in this heinous crime involving murder of three innocent civilians on the evening of April 30th.
During investigation, it has surfaced that militants involved in the killings include Suhaib Farooq Akhoon alias Abu Huraira son of Farooq Ahmad Akhoon resident of Khanpora, Mohsin Mushtaq Bhat alias Shera son of Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat resident of Qazi Hamam Baramulla, Ajaz Ahmad Gojri alias Abu Umair son of Ab. Rehman resident of Jami Mohalla Baramulla (apprehended) and Bilal Ahmad Najar alias Abu Sameer son of Ghulam Ahmad Najar resident of Banglow Bagh Baramulla (apprehended).
Moreover investigations in this case also reveal that one spotter Bilal Ahmad Najar son of Gh. Ahmad Najar resident of Banglow Bagh Baramulla has actually tracked and spotted the movement of these three deceased young boys. He had been assigned the task of identifying and spotting the victims.
Three militants Suhaib Akhoon, Mohsin Mushtaq and Ajaz Gojiri opened fire using AK series rifles while as Bilal Najar used a Chinese pistol to commit the murder of three civilians.
Since all the militants involved in this crime are locals of Baramulla, they were easily spotted by eyewitnesses, who immediately reported to Police.
Earlier a Pakistani who was suspected to be involved in these murders as per the initial eyewitness accounts turned out to be Aijaz Gojri who had changed his appearance to create the impression of being a Pakistani.
Of the 4 weapons used in the offence, 3 have been recovered and the empty cartridges seized from the scene of crime appear to have same markings as discovered on the live cartridges recovered from the apprehended militants and their hideout.
After committing the crime, all the 4 militants had fled from the spot in a sliver Alto Car bearing registration number JK01J-0010 provided to them by one Uzair Amin Bhat son of Mohd Amin Bhat resident of Chesti Colony Baramulla who has been also arrested along with the vehicle in the instant case.
Of the three civilians killed, names of two had surfaced in threatening video issued by LeT from old town Baramulla during the 2016 unrest.
Sustained questioning of these arrested militants helped Police to unearth a LeT module operating in Sopore-Baramulla belt.
With this, 4 active militants of the LeT militant organisation have been apprehended alongwith 06 other Over Ground Workers (OGWs).
Pertinently multiple raids by Police, Army and CRPF in Sopore and Baramulla areas were launched to bust the militant modules. One kingpin of the module namely Nadeem Ahmad Dar alias Abu Osama resident of Nowpora Kalan Sopore alongwith Suhaib Akhoon had been the main motivators and commanders of this group.
Nadeem alias Abu Osama had provided all assistance to these terrorists in committing this crime including supply of arms to the militants.
He had also transported them to Baramulla from Sopore in white Santro Car on April 25th. The said vehicle has also been seized. He is said to be in direct contact with a Pakistani militant of LeT Hanzulla Adnan based in Pakistan.
With such arrests, Police and Security forces were also able to solve the cases of 2 grenade attacks on Police Station Baramulla by apprehending one Naseer Ahmad Mochi resident of Amargrah Sopore, who was provided with grenades on two occasions by apprehended militant Ajaz Ahmad Gojri and he had subsequently lobed them on Police Station Baramulla on 2.12.2017 and 22.01.2018 in which two policemen had sustained injuries.
The recoveries made from the apprehended militants and OGWs include, two AK Rifles, two Pistil Chinese, four hand grenades, 50 rounds of AK ammunition, four AK Magazine and two Pistol Magzines.
Dark homes, waterlogged streets: Story of Kashmir after few inches of snow
Srinagar, Jan 17: The public utility services, especially power and transportation, have been badly hit by Wednesday’s snowfall exposing the authorities’ lack of preparedness.
Kashmir received light to moderate snowfall since Wednesday morning and with it, the supply of electricity, which was already patchy, became even worse.
People, even after the snowfall stopped, complained of facing abrupt power cuts.
Mohammad Altaf, a resident of south Kashmir’s Kokernag, said that electricity was yet to be restored in his area.
He termed the assurances given by the government regarding the early restoration of electricity as “baseless”.“People of this constituency have been suffering terribly due to the absence of electricity. In addition, many roads have not been cleared yet,” he said.
The residents of main town Anantnag and its adjoining Dialgam and Kadipora areas too complained of unscheduled power cuts.
The situation is almost similar in the summer capital.“For the last two days, we face abrupt power cuts. Our children are not able to prepare for the exams due to power cuts in the evening hours. They have to study under candlelight and lanterns,” said Gulzar Ahmad, a resident of Habak, an otherwise metered area.
In non-metered ones, the supply is even worse.“We face frequent power cuts. We don’t know when the power will remain on and off,” said Kaisar Ahmad, a resident of Qamarwari.
The residents of the main town Baramulla too complained of facing unscheduled and frequent power-cuts, especially since Wednesday.
Chief Engineer, Power Development Department, Kashmir, Hashmat Qazi, claimed the electricity had been “restored almost in all areas”.“Some areas face power cuts due to overloading,” he added.
Waterlogged streets were another issue that people had to deal with.“There is immense water logging in our area due to lack of drainage system,” said Ghulam Jeelani, a resident of Qamarwari.
Due to waterlogging, the city areas including Tourist Reception Centre, Jehangir Chowk, Batamaloo, and Budshah Chowk witnessed heavy traffic jams.
An official of Srinagar Municipal Corporation said that only 40 per cent Srinagar has a proper drainage system in place.
“Under AMRUT scheme, the centre will provide Rs 390 crore in the next five years for the drainage system in Srinagar and Rs 300 crore will come from the World Bank project for it,” the official added
He agreed that there were several by-lanes, which have not been cleared yet due to lack of adequate snow clearing machines.
Kin of 9 arrested youth protest for their release
Srinagar, Jan 17: Scores of women Thursday protested at Rajouri Kadal here demanding the immediate release of their sons and kin, who, they claimed, were being handed over to National Investigation Agency (NIA) after being detained by J&K Police last year.
Shouting slogans against the state police and the NIA, the women, most mothers of those arrested, assembled at Rajouri Kadal square in the morning and blocked the main road.
They demanded an immediate release of the nine boys, who were arrested by the police in November.
The detained persons, as per news agency GNS were identified as Tahir Ahmad Khan son of Ali Mohammad of Chandrigam, Tral, and Haris Mushtaq Khan son of Mushtaq Ahmad of Wathoora, Budgam.
The duo was arrested by the police in Srinagar on November 23.
On their disclosure, police sources said that seven more persons were arrested in subsequent days.
They included Abdul Ahad Mir son of Ghulam Mohammad of Khurhama, Kupwara and six other Srinagar residents: Asif Suhail Nadaf son of Latief Ahmad of Rainwari; Irfan Ahmad Seeru son of Mohammad Shaban of Nawa Kadal; Wahid Abbas Bhat son of Mohammad Abbas of Rajouri Kadal; Ashiq Hussain son of Bashir Ahmad of Nowhatta; Haris Rashid Langoo son of Abdul Rashid of Malik Sahib Gojwara; and Arif Majeed Khan son of Abdul Majeed of Hawal.
Quoting police sources, GNS had reported that all the arrested were “working as over-ground workers (OGWs) of militant outfits and police had also recovered two pistols along with 14 rounds, three grenades, one bara bore single barrel rifle, one ISIS flag and one cutter.”
The protesting women, however, claim their sons and kin are “innocent”.
“Police had assured he will be released soon but even after frequent visits to the police station, he has not been released yet. We read from the internet a few days ago that they will be sent to Jammu for NIA investigation,” said Sameena, whose brother is among those arrested.
Another woman, who has already lost her husband, said her son is in jail for the last around two months “without any charges”.
The police have already refuted the reports claiming the youths were being handed over to the NIA. “In this context, it is clarified that the instant case FIR No 93/2018 was registered at Police Station Kothi Bagh under the relevant sections of law. This case was subsequently taken over by NIA and all the arrested accused persons in this case are presently in Judicial Custody,” the police spokesperson said.
Alok Mittal, NIA spokesperson too denied such reports saying: “We did not receive any such cases.”
IGP Kashmir and SSP Srinagar did not respond to repeated phone calls.
Political astuteness not economic packages needed to resolve Kashmir: Mehbooba
Srinagar, Jan 17: Former Chief Minister and President People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday reiterated that dialogue and reconciliation between India and Pakistan have become inevitable for the resolution of Kashmir issue and that the decades old conflict cannot be resolved by the announcement of the economic packages.
While addressing the party functionaries and activists from Rajpora assembly segment, Mehbooba said that the resilience of the PDP workers is worth to hail as they in spite of the harsh weather attended the meeting in large numbers and gave a clear message that the party is going to emerge victorious and more stronger in the coming time.
Hailing the impeccable courage and determination with which the PDP workers have been strengthening the party on the ground, Mehbooba said that the real asset for the PDP since its foundation in 1999 has been its ground level workers.
PDP President stated further that after the 2014 polls accorded fragmented mandate to state’s political landscape, PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed decided to stitch the common ground with BJP will the sole motive to reincarnate the Vajpayee era in the state and to stop the vicious cycle of unabated killings and violence. “Even when I told my father that the decision to join hands with the BJP has more risks than rewards and would decline party’s popularity in the state, he said he was ready to sacrifice everything including his own self if that resolves the decades old conflict,”
Mehbooba said, adding that her father was confident that dialogue and reconciliation would be initiated and same measures taken during Vajpayee’s time shall be witnessed once again. “However, when on November 7, 2015 Prime Minister Modi addressed a rally in Srinagar, he announced 80 thousand crore package but exhibited reluctance in pitching for a thaw between India and Pakistan for peace in the state. This disheartened everyone including the people who had come from far flung areas to listen to the Prime Minister,” Mehbooba said.