STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Describing sticky bombs smuggled from Pakistan as a grave threat, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh on Monday said adequate security arrangements are in place for the Amarnath Yatra which is going on smoothly.
He also said around 150 terrorists are present on the launch pads across the border but security forces are fully alert and have thwarted their attempts to sneak into the valley.
All security related measures are in place for the Amarnath pilgrimage, the police chief told reporters at Mahore in Reasi district, where he had gone to appreciate the villagers for helping police arrest two wanted Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists.
The two terrorists Talib Hussain Shah, a mastermind behind the recent series of explosions in Rajouri, and his Kashmiri associate Faisal Ahmad Dar of Pulwama were overpowered by the villagers of remote Tukson Dhok early Sunday and later handed over to police. Two AK assault rifles, a pistol, seven grenades and a large quantity of ammunition were recovered from them.
‘LeT terrorist was briefly associated with a political party’
JAMMU: Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Talib Hussain Shah was briefly associated with a political party and also posed himself as a mediaperson, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said on Monday.
However, he said such type of elements would continue to make attempts to take cover anywhere to carry forward their anti-national activities and that police are duty-bound to arrest them.
The DGP was interacting with reporters in the Mahore area of Reasi district, where he had gone to convey his appreciation to the villagers who helped police arrest two most-wanted LeT terrorists — Shah, the mastermind behind a recent series of explosions in Rajouri, and his associate Faisal Ahmad Dar of Pulwama.
Some pictures emerged on social media purportedly showing Shah with Bharatiya Janata Party leaders. One of the pictures shows Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina purportedly presenting Shah with a bouquet and a letter issued by party leader Sheikh Bashir on May 9, assigning him the role of the IT and social media in-charge of the party’s Minority Morcha (Jammu province).
Responding to a question about Shah’s association with the saffron party, the DGP said, “Such elements always make attempts to take cover at such places where they can continue their (anti-national) activities. It is a matter of happiness that he did not remain in the party for a long time. He had a brief association with the party.”
“He is being questioned and we will share details with you once his interrogation is complete,” he said when asked about Shah’s intention behind joining the BJP.
The DGP said inimical elements try to outsmart the security arrangements.
“It is not just a matter of a political party. He (Shah) was also posing himself as a mediaperson. He is not the first mediaperson to be arrested as we have arrested many such people in the past and such arrests will take place in the future as well.
“They will try to take shelter and we are duty-bound to identify and nab them,” the top police officer said.
Singh, who announced a cash reward of Rs 2 lakh for the villagers who overpowered the two terrorists before handing them over to police, said Pakistan and its agencies, through terror groups, are making repeated attempts to revive terrorism in Jammu province but “the Jammu police has played an appreciable role in thwarting their attempts”.
“I have come to appreciate our young friends who showed exemplary courage and took on the two heavily-armed terrorists with bare hands, giving a clear-cut message that we will not allow the revival of terrorism,” the DGP said.
He said people living in the remote areas saw the brute face of terrorism when terrorists used to forcibly intrude into their homes, take shelter and even exploit their women.
“The villagers have done a great job which is praiseworthy,” Singh said, adding that terrorists are killing innocent people “at the behest of Pakistan and its agencies”.
Referring to the terror attack on police personnel Firdous Ahmad in the Bijbehara area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Sunday, the DGP said the policeman challenged his attackers and escaped with two bullet injuries.
“The selective and targeted killings are part of the Pakistani conspiracy to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Singh said the people of Kashmir are fully cooperating with police and other security forces, leading to successful anti-terrorist operations.
He said the people have always stood with the security forces. “There are some black sheep in every community but mostly, the people are with the establishment, with police and we are thankful to them,” the DGP added.
There is no connection between the (Amarnath) yatra and the arrest (of the duo). It is a big success as Shah was involved in a series of sticky bomb explosions in Rajouri, Singh said.
He said Shah was part of efforts being made 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 police. The LeT handlers are using different names but all the elements are the same and they are making desperate attempts to recruit youngsters, he said.
The DGP said Jammu police scuttled all their attempts to revive terrorism by busting their modules in Udhampur, Doda-Kishtwar belt and Poonch-Rajouri and since Shah is heading one such module, his questioning will solve many more cases.
His arrest is a big achievement and people are equal partners in this success. The people overpowering the terrorists with bare hands is a good beginning, he said.
The DGP said police had been chasing Shah ever since his name came up during investigation of the recent blasts in Rajouri.
They were not getting a hideout and were moving aimlessly and ended up being overpowered by people. The action of the villagers is worth praise and so I have personally come to thank them, he said.
On the number of terrorists on launch pads in Pakistan, he said the numbers hover around 150 and there were attempts by them to infiltrate into this side but they were tackled and neutralized either on the border or in the hinterland.
The anti-terrorist operations will continue with border security grid being further beefed up with the recruitment of 200 Special Police Officers in recently created border battalions, Singh said.
The J&K Police chief said the attempts to foment trouble in the Union Territory from across the border have not lowered and we are planning counter-measures accordingly .
He said sticky bombs pose a grave threat but the police and other security agencies are alert to foil all conspiracies.
The terrorists were able to set off sticky bombs at vegetable market in Udhampur (in March) and at two places in Rajouri (in April-May). Police have recovered many such bombs and IEDs airdropped through drones (from Pakistan) before they could be used to hit a target, he said.
Asked about the investigation in the Katra bus fire incident that left four passengers dead and 20 others injured in May, he said the investigation into the cause of the fire is on as we are yet to reach a conclusion .
Singh said the security deployments have been made for Amarnath Yatra and we are taking all necessary arrangements (to foil any attempt by terrorists to target the yatra with sticky bombs) .
Asked whether the villagers who overpowered the terrorists will be given a job in police, he said there is a system in place for the recruitment in police and other security forces. There are many people linked with us like Village Defence Committee members and Dhok Defence Committee members who are doing great job in anti-terror operations, he said.