The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Sunday busted a Lashkar-e-Taiba – The Resistance Front (LeT-TRF ) module responsible for killing the president of a taxi drivers’ union in Bandipora on October 5.
“Four militants were arrested for killing Mohammad Shafi Lone, of Naidkhai,” a police spokesperson said.
“The arrested terrorist associates have been identified as Tariq Ahmad Dar alias Tariq Khoucha, Mohammad Shafi Dar, Mudasir Hassan Lone and Bilal Ah Dar alias Sahb Khoucha, “ the spokesman said.
However, one of the militant associate involved in the killing, identified as Imtiyaz Ah Dar alias Kotru is absconding and has reportedly joined the terrorist ranks.
“The killing was carried out at the behest and instruction of LeT (TRF) handler Lala Umar, a resident of Pakistan,” the spokesman said, adding that the module that was active in Shahgund, Hajin area, had planned the attack by carrying out reconnaissance of the target and surveiling him.
On the day of the attack, one of the terrorist associates called the victim for a meeting at Gundboon, where the victim was assassinated, the spokesman said.
Hundreds allegedly questioned over civilian killings
Hundreds of people have allegedly been called for questioning, many of whom have been detained across Kashmir over the past few days to investigate the chain of civilian killings in the Valley over the last week.
Police officials and local sources, on the condition of anonymity, said the police has been detaining over ground workers (OGWs) and members of the banned organisation, Jamaat-e-Islami to question whether they had any role in the civilian killings.
While some reports have put the number of people detained for questioning at around 500, a senior police official said that the number is was not as much.
While J&K DGP Dilbag Singh and IG Kashmir Vijay Kumar did not respond to calls, DIG (north Kashmir) Udaybhaskar Billa said that they have been calling people including OGWs to investigate if they had played a role.
“It is true that we have called some people and we are verifying the involvement of locals,” he said, adding, “It is not detention per se.”
Locals said that police has already detained many people in Hajin after the family members of Mohammad Shafi identified the people who had attacked him.
“Right now, it is not appropriate to talk about the case,” the DIG said.
Kashmir has been restive since October 3 owing to the targeted killings of seven persons including three belonging to minority communities of the union territory and forth one a non-local.
On Thursday suspected militants opened fire on two teachers – Satinder Kour, the principal, and Deepak Chand – of a government school in Srinagar’s old city and killed them.
The two were killed two days after Makhan Lal Bindroo, a 68-year-old chemist, street vendor Virender Paswan from Bihar’s Bhagalpur, and Muhammad Shafi Lone, a taxi driver, were shot dead in Srinagar and Bandipora districts on Tuesday.
On Saturday evening, gunmen opened fire at Majid Ahmad Gojri, a resident of Chattabal Srinagar, and Mohammad Shafi Dar, a resident of SD Colony Batamaloo, killing them both.To augment the police investigations, the Union government has sent Intelligence Bureau’s head of CT operations Tapan Deka to the Valley to personally supervise the fight against militancy following the killings while CT teams of other national security agencies have also been in Kashmir to act as force multipliers to Jammu and Kashmir police.