Six ‘militant associates’ involved in Highway attacks held, vehicles seized

Missing SPO joined militant ranks, escaped from Chadoora gunfight site: IGP Kashmir


SRINAGAR, Oct 16: The police have arrested six terrorist associates who had provided logistic support to militants for carrying out attacks on security forces that had left five personnel dead and several others injured.
Special investigation teams were constituted for investigating attacks on security forces close to the national highway between August 14 and October 5, a police spokesperson said on Friday.
"The investigating teams used technical as well as human intelligence to identify some suspects involved in these attacks. Subsequently, the teams launched a series of raids in Chadoora, Budgam, Nowgam and other areas of Srinagar and picked up around a dozen suspects for questioning," the spokesperson said.
"These teams were able to arrest six terrorist associates who had provided shelter, transportation and also conducted recce of the security force deployments where the above mentioned attacks were later on carried out by the terrorists," he said.
The location of the house was also ascertained, where the terrorists involved in these terror crime attacks were hiding at Barzulla, he added.
The teams also seized six vehicles used to carry out these attacks, the spokesperson said.
Two police personnel were killed while another was injured in a militant attack on August 14 at Gulshan Nagar Nowgam while one CRPF personnel was killed in an attack at Kaisermullah in Chadoora.
In both the attacks, militants had snatched the weapons of the slain security forces personnel.
Two CRPF personnel were killed in another attack close to the national highway on October 5 while four other personnel sustained injuries.
IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar congratulated the investigating teams for the success in busting this terrorist associate network and averting further attacks by this module.
He also appealed to the general public not to provide their vehicles and accommodation to unknown people or suspects.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar on Friday said that the Special Police Officer (SPO) who had gone missing three days back has joined militant ranks and that he managed to escape from a gunfight site in Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
“The missing SPO escaped from the site during gunfight,” IGP said.
The SPO has been identified as Altaf Hassan, son of Ghulam Hassan Bhat of Qazipora Chadoora, who was posted at SOG Camp Chadoora and went missing along with two AK-47 rifles and three magazines on Wednesday.
The Army on Friday said that a militant was captured alive with an AK 47 rifle during the Chadoora gunfight.
A militant associate was arrested on Friday after a brief shootout in Chadoora area of Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
"On a specific input regarding presence of a police deserter (SPO), who had decamped with two AK-47 rifles two days ago, along with his associate in Chadoora area of Budgam, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by the police, Army and CRPF," a police spokesman said.
He said as the joint team of security forces reached near the target location, the SPO-turned-militant along with his associate started firing indiscriminately.
The firing was retaliated by the joint team leading to a brief gunfight, the spokesman said.
"During the ensuing gunfight, the deserter special police officer (SPO) managed to escape, but his associate was captured alive," he said.
The captured militant associate has been identified as Jahangir Ahmad Bhat, an overground worker and a notorious stone pelter, the spokesman said.
One of the AK-47 rifles taken away by the deserter SPO was recovered from the possession of the accused, he said.
IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar appreciated the police and security forces for showing maximum restraint by arresting the terrorist associate during live encounter.
He also appealed the family of deserter SPO Altaf to help the police in bringing him back.
In another operation, security forces arrested SSB constable Altaf Hussain, who had gone missing along with ammunition from Chadoora area of central Kashmir's Budgam district.
He was arrested from Rajouri district on Friday, police officials said.
Hussain had gone missing from the camp at Nagam area near Chadoora with one magazine of INSAS rifle and 20 rounds on October 13. He belonged to Rehan village of Koteranka tehsil of Rajouri district.
He was apprehended by police from his native district along with ammunition, police added.

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