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Militant modules active in Srinagar, VPN misused to contact Pakistan’: DGP

DGP scaled


Srinagar, Feb 5: Pointing out to the recent attacks on security establishments in the city, Director General of Police (DGP), Dilbagh Singh Wednesday said that some of the militant modules were “still active” in Srinagar.

On Wednesday, a CRPF trooper was killed after three two-wheeler borne militants shot at him at a checkpoint on city outskirts in Lawaypora here. Two of the three militants were also shot dead in the gunfight that ensued soon after, while the third one was caught in an injured state.

 

Briefing media about the encounter, DGP Singh said the security forces were on alert to “respond to the grenade throwers.”

“City population and security establishment are always on the target of militants.  Even after busting many of their modules, some are still left, which became evident after the Pratap park incident,” he said.

On Sunday, two paramilitary troopers and seven civilians were injured in a grenade attack by militants in Pratap Park, close to Lal Chowk area of the city.

Singh said the police had managed to uncover a few clues to work on after the Pratap park incident.

“We will quickly reach to grenade throwers and arrest them,” he said.

The DGP added the investigation over grenade throwing module suggested that “these operatives were connected to JeM militant outfit operating from Tral in south Kashmir.”

“The five Jaish operatives who were caught last month were connected to Qari Yasir, Jaish provincial commander who was killed in Gulshanpora Tral last month. The IED making material and suicide vests suggested that they were planning to carry out some major suicide attack,” he said.

Police, the DGP said, had also got reports about misuse of VPNs after restoring low speed 2G mobile internet in the Union Territory.

“Soon after restoration of 2G, it rained VPN all over. We have received reports about misuse of VPNs. Recently, in Nagrota encounter, a trucker who ferried three militants sent a photo of an encounter as a matter of evidence to Pakistan. Before receiving the militant group, he was in constant touch with Pakistan,” he said.

Singh said nearly 20 militants have been killed in gun battles in Jammu and Kashmir in January.

DGP said that various militant groups, equipped with “highly advanced weaponry”, were working in coordination in the valley.

“I have been saying for the last one year that these militant outfits work in coordination. Militants from different outfits have been killed together in encounters. These militant outfits work and arrange logistics for each other,” he said.

“Icom (wireless) sets were used by the Jaish group that had infiltrated from Pakistan. Weapons like US made M4 rifles were recovered. In October 2018 similar rifle was recovered from militants. Even thermal sighting equipment is used by the militants. The militants have constant contact with their handlers in Pakistan,” DGP added.

He said after killing of Jaish commander Qari Yasir last month, DGP claimed that the  militants killed in Nagrota encounter might include a militant leader who was to replace Yasir.

“After Qari Yasir’s elimination we have no idea who has been declared the new commander of the outfit? The group which was eliminated in Nagrota came with high level weaponry with some possible commander,” Singh said.

DGP said the security forces were making all preparations for ensuring a peaceful summer this year.

“We hope the law and order will be maintained and coming summer will be a peaceful season for Kashmir,” he said.

Injured ‘militant’ a shopkeeper, claims family

KNO

Srinagar, Feb 5: The family members of Umar Fayaz, who was declared as an ISJK militant by police on Wednesday said he was at his shop when a bullet pierced his chest.

“Umar is not a militant. He has no militant links. He runs his father’s shop at Lawaypora and is a poor shopkeeper selling poultry etc. He was hit by a bullet when he at his shop,” Umar’s uncle Abdur Rashid Thakur told Kashmir News Observer (KNO) at SMHS hospital, where Umar is battling for his life.

Umar was hit by a bullet and was operated at SMHS where his condition continues to be critical.

Umar, as per police, was one of the three militants who attacked security forces killing one trooper on Srinagar-Baramulla highway at Lawaypora on Wednesday. Two militants were also killed in the gunfight.

“Umar’s mother is a patient and his father was recently operated for his heart ailment,” said Thakur, adding, that there are blood marks of Umar still left at his shop. “Police should correct the facts and visit the shop once.” He said they were stopped at Shalteng due to which Umar lost lot of blood. “We arranged 18 pints of blood for him so far. May God save him,” he said.

Umar’s aunt, who was present at her house at Lawaypora which is just few meters away from the shop run by Umar, said: “I heard a few bullet sounds. I went outside and saw Umar shouting auntie I am hit by a bullet and I am dying. We were stopped at Shalteng and despite repeated requests, we were allowed to proceed,” she said amid tears.