Chandigarh, Nov 5 (IANS) Punjab Police on Monday arrested two engineering students from J&K for their role in grenade blasts at a police station in Jalandhar on September 14, claiming to unearth a major terror network linking a Kashmiri group to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
“The Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), a Kashmir-based outfit, is headed by Zakir Rashid Bhatt, alias Zakir Mussa, who masterminded and guided the attack, involving Shahid Qayoom, 22, and Fazil Bashir, 23 — both students of St. Soldier College of Engineering and Technology, Jalandhar,” said Punjab director general of police (DGP) Suresh Arora.
This is the second case of arrest of Kashmiri students linked with AGH in Punjab.
Last month the police had arrested three Kashmiri students from the hostel of CT Institute of Engineering, Management & Technology, Jalandhar, who had links to AGH and other active militants in Jammu and Kashmir.
The DGP said four people were involved in carrying out the hand-grenade blasts in the police station.
“They were Shahid, Fazil, Mir Ravoof Ahmed alias Rouf, and Mir Umar Ramzan alias Gazi. While Shahid and Fazil were pursuing B.Tech (Civil) 7th Semester, the other two, who are still absconding, were trained AGH terrorist operatives who flew from Srinagar to Chandigarh on September 13 with the purpose of carrying out these attacks,” the DGP said.
“Investigations so far have revealed that AGH’s recruiter Amir, of Dada Sara Tral in Kashmir, had contacted both the students when they were in Kashmir. He reportedly radicalized the students and also exhorted them to work for AGH,” the DGP said.
Shahid and Fazil were in contact with the leaders/members of the AGH outfit over different chat applications,” Arora pointed out.
The DGP said that after reaching Chandigarh, Rouf and Gazi travelled to Jalandhar by bus where they met Shahid and Fazil around Maqsudan Chowk, located near Police Station Maqsudan.
Shahid and Fazil took them to their friend’s PG in Surat Nagar, Maqsudan. Both Rouf and Gazi, along with Shahid and Fazil, carried out a recce of the police station and nearby areas on September 13.
According to the DGP, the operatives earlier planned throwing grenades at CRPF and ITBP Camps located near Bidhipur Railway crossing, and had conducted a recce of CRPF Campus also.
“Shahid had borrowed a black colour Pulsar bike with a Himachal Pradesh registration number from one of his friends to facilitate the reconnaissance operation,” said the DGP.
“On September 14, around 4.30 pm, the four conspirators took the grenades and left for the police station around 5.30 pm. They sported face masks to avoid detection. They decided to meet at Jalandhar bus stand after throwing the grenades at the police station,” the DGP said.
“Around 7.40 pm, they hurled four grenades at the police station and fled the spot. After the blasts, Rouf, Gaji and Fazil reached the bus stand via DAV College, Patel Chowk, route while Shahid reached there by taking Jalandhar Byepass route.”
A little later, Rouf and Gazi boarded a bus for J&K from Jammu Counter and fled Jalandhar city,” Arora said.
The DGP further said that Faizal Bashir was arrested by Punjab Police from Awantipora in Kashmir on November 3 and Shahid Qayoom was arrested from Jalandhar on November 4.
An FIR under various sections of the IPC has been registered against them in Jalandhar, 160 km from here.
Arora said Punjab Police were working closely with their J&K counterparts and intelligence agencies to arrest the remaining terrorists, and unmansk the entire conspiracy and network built by these outfits/individuals.
Expressing concern over targeting of police stations and police officers, the DGP appealed to the student community in the state not to fall prey to the designs of militant elements and anti-national forces, which were out to disturb peace and communal harmony in Punjab.