Three ‘hybrid’ terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit have been arrested in connection with the killing of a sarpanch in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir in April, police said on Monday.
"On April 15, terrorists had fired upon Manzoor Ahmad Bangroo, sarpanch of Goshbugh B at Chanderhama orchards in Wussan area of Palhallan in Pattan and his body was recovered,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Baramulla, Rayees Mohammad Bhat, told reporters in Pattan.
After the attack, searches were launched in the area by security forces and a case was also registered, he said.
“On the basis of various techint and humint leads, investigation was vigorously pursued... After a lot of hardwork, we have been able to crack this conspiracy which went into the killing of the PRIs and soft targets,” the SSP said.
He said three hybrid terrorists have been arrested who had been planning the conspiracy for about six to seven months.
“The current case has links to a grenade attack in Palhallan highway last year. The main conspirator in that case was Mohammad Afzal of Barthipora, Naidkhai in Hanjin area of Bandipora. In this case as well, the links to Afzal have come forward.
“Various other attacks and modules have been tracked to this individual. This individual is the sort of fountain-head character who was directing multiple sleeper cells and hybrid terrorist modules, providing them arms and ammunition as well as executing these attacks,” he said.
The arrested terrorists had also obtained arms and ammunition from Afzal before he was arrested, Bhat said.
He identified them as Noor Mohammad Yatoo, Mohammad Rafiq Parray and Mohammad Akbar Parray, all residents of Goshbugh, Pattan.
“The three terrorists divulged the plot which was directed by LeT terrorists Yusuf Kantru and Hilal Sheikh (both killed at Malwah last month) and executed by recently-infiltrated terrorists Gulzar Ganaie (killed in an encounter at Bandipora) and Umar Lone of Wussan (still active and at large),” the SSP said.
The investigation further led to recoveries of arms and ammunition and to a larger web of links between various outfits and organisations on which investigation is going on, he said.
The arms and ammunition recovered included three Chinese pistols, three pistol magazines, two grenades and 32 pistol rounds.
“The successful apprehension of the three terrorists and the recovery of the arms and ammunition has solved another sensational case in Baramulla and foiled major terror plots planned in future in the general area. Interrogation of the apprehended individuals is likely to give further inputs for future counter terrorism operations,” he said.
'Hybrid' militants are those who are not listed as ultras but persons radicalised enough to carry out a terror strike and then slip back into routine life.
(With PTI inputs)