The case can be taken to the NIA or the SIA: Sources
JAMMU, 4th July: Director General of Police (DGP), Dilbag Singh today said Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) activist Talib Hussain Shah was briefly associated with a political party and s was also impersonating a journalist. However, he said such kind of elements will keep trying to hide anywhere to carry on their anti-national activities, but the police have a duty to stop them.
The DGP was interacting with journalists in the Mahore area of Reasi district, where he had gone to appreciate the villagers who had helped the police arrest two most wanted LeT activists – Shah, a mastermind behind the recent spate of explosions in Rajouri, and his Kashmiri associate Faisal Ahmad Dar of Pulwama.
Additional DGP Jammu Mukesh Singh, DIG Udhampur-Reasi lineup Suleman Choudhary and SSP Reasi Amit Gupta accompanied the DGP.
The two activists were subdued by villagers in Tukson Dhok early yesterday and later handed over to the police. Two AK assault rifles, a pistol, seven grenades and a large amount of ammunition were recovered there.
Reliable sources told the Excelsior that Union Home Secretary Amit Shah reportedly discussed the matter with NIA Chief Dinkar Gupta in New Delhi today and that the case of Talib’s penetration into the BJP could be entrusted to the NIA or the SIA, as there were reports that he could be part of a larger plan to target BJP leaders and party offices.
Some images have emerged on social media purportedly showing Shah with BJP leaders. The BJP denied that he was now associated with the party.
Responding to a question about Shah’s association with the BJP, the DGP said that “these elements always try to take cover in places where they can continue their (anti-national) activities. It’s a matter of happiness that he didn’t stay long in the party. He came out after a brief association.
“He is being interrogated and we will share the details with you once his interrogation is over,” he said when asked about Shah’s intention to join the Safran party.
The DGP said the hostile elements are trying to thwart the security devices. “It’s not just a matter of political party. He (Shah) was also posing as a media. He is not the first journalist to be arrested, as we have arrested many such people in the past and we will be in the future as well.
“They will try to take cover and we have a duty to identify and catch them,” the DGP said.
The police chief, who announced a cash reward of Rs two lakhs for villagers who overpowered the two militants before handing them over to the police, said Pakistan and its agencies, through terrorist groups , tried several times to revive terrorism in Jammu province, but “Jammu Police played an appreciable role in foiling their attempts.
“I have come to appreciate our young friends who showed exemplary courage and confronted the two heavily armed terrorists with their bare hands, giving a clear message that we will not allow terrorism to resume,” he said. the DGP.
He said people in remote areas have seen the brutal face of terrorism when militants used to break into their homes, take cover and even exploit their women.
“The villagers have done an excellent job that deserves praise. People must emulate them elsewhere and these militants shed innocent blood at the behest of Pakistan and its agencies,” he said.
Referring to militants’ attack on policeman Firdous Ahmad in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district in south Kashmir on Sunday, the DGP said the policeman defied his attackers and escaped with two bullet wounds.
“The selective and targeted assassinations are part of the Pakistani conspiracy to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere of Jammu and Kashmir,” Dilbag said.
The DGP said that the people of Kashmir are also cooperating fully with the police and other security forces, which has led to successful counter-terrorism operations.
“People have always been with us since the beginning (of the eruption of terrorism). There are black sheep in every community, but most of the time people are with the establishment, with the police and we we are grateful,” he said.
Describing the sticky bombs smuggled in from Pakistan as a “serious threat”, Dilbag said adequate security arrangements were in place for the smoothly running Amarnath yatra.
He also said that around 150 militants are present at the launch pads across the border, but security forces are on full alert and have foiled their attempts to sneak into the valley.
“All security-related measures are in place for the Amarnath pilgrimage,” the police chief said.
“There is no connection between the (Amarnath) yatra and the arrest (of the duo). This is a big success as Shah was involved in a series of sticky bomb explosions in Rajouri,” said Singh said.
He said Shah was part of efforts by LeT handlers in Pakistan to revive terrorism in Rajouri, Poonch, Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban and Reasi and other parts of Jammu region.
“They earlier created a Gaznavi force group for Jammu province which was wiped out by the police. LeT managers use different names but all the elements are the same and they make desperate attempts to recruit young people,” he said.
DGP said Jammu Police have scuttled all their attempts to revive terrorism by smashing their modules at Udhampur, Doda-Kishtwar belt and Poonch-Rajouri and since Shah is leading one of these modules his interrogation will solve many more case.
“His arrest is a great achievement and people are equal partners in that success. People subduing terrorists with their bare hands is a good start,” he said.
The DGP said police have been pursuing Shah since his name came up during the investigation into the recent Rajouri blasts.
“They weren’t getting a hiding spot and were moving around aimlessly and ended up being overpowered by people. The action of the villagers deserves praise and so I came to thank them personally,” he said.
Regarding the number of militants on the launch pads in Pakistan, he said the numbers were around 150 and they had tried to infiltrate from that side, but they were boarded and neutralized either at the border or in the hinterland.
“Counter-terrorism operations will continue with the reinforcement of the border security network with the recruitment of 200 special police officers in the recently created border battalions,” he said.
He said attempts to stir up trouble at J&K across the border have not diminished and “we are planning countermeasures accordingly”.
He said the sticky bombs pose a “serious threat”, but police and other security agencies are vigilant to foil any conspiracies.
“Militants were able to detonate sticky bombs in Udhampur vegetable market (March) and two locations in Rajouri (April-May). Most of the time the police recovered many such bombs and IEDs dropped by drones (from Pakistan) before they could be used to hit a target,” he said.
Asked about the investigation into the Katra bus fire which killed four people and injured 20 in May, he said the investigation into the cause of the fire was ongoing as “we haven’t fired any shots yet. conclusion”.
Singh said security deployments have been done for Amarnath yatra and “we are taking all necessary steps (to foil any attempt by terrorists to target the yatra with sticky bombs)”.
Asked if villagers who have subdued the militants will get jobs in the police, he said there is a system in place for recruitment into the police and other security forces.
“There are many people related to us like members of the village defense committee and Dhok defense committees who are doing a great job in counter-terrorism operations,” he said.
Meanwhile, a hideout of militants was dismantled in Rajouri district, resulting in the recovery of six sticky bombs along with other weapons and ammunition.
The hideout was busted when LeT Commander Talib Hussain Shah who, along with his associate Faisal Ahmad Dar, was subdued by people and handed over to police in a remote village in Mahore tehsil in Reasi district yesterday .
Shah revealed the presence of a hiding place in his Draj village of Rajouri during interrogation and as a result a raid was carried out and the hiding place was destroyed.
Searching the hideout yielded six sticky bombs, one pistol, three pistol magazines, 19 pistol rounds, one underbarrel grenade launcher (UBGL), three UBGL grenades, 75 AK assault rifle rounds and one IED remote control with antenna.
Meanwhile, sources said NIA Chief Dinkar Gupta today briefed Union Home Secretary Amit Shah on the killings in Udaipur (Rajasthan) and Amravati ( Maharashtra). The NIA had taken over the investigation into the two murders as they were executed for supporting remarks by the suspended BJP leader amid indications the killers may have international links.
Dinkar Gupta, who was in Kashmir for the past two days on his first visit to J&K after taking over as head of the NIA, reportedly discussed the arrest of Talib Hussain Shah in Mahore following his and his associate’s arrest by the villager.
Although there was no official word, sources said Talib Hussain’s case could be probed by the NIA or SIA to determine if he has bigger plans to target BJP leaders and party offices in Jammu and Kashmir by entering the party.