Lo­cal cop ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of aid­ing at­tack on pil­grims in Kash­mir

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Srinagar, In­dia - In­dian in­ves­ti­ga­tors ar­rested a lo­cal po­lice­man on sus­pi­cion of aid­ing the last week’s ter­ror at­tack that killed seven Hindu pil­grims head­ing to Amar­nath in the north­ern In­dian state of Jammu and Kash­mir, po­lice said on Satur­day.

Claim­ing a ma­jor break­through in crack­ing the July 10 at­tack on a bus, the spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion team (SIT) of­fi­cials are now ques­tion­ing a rul­ing legislator from the rul­ing Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) for links with the ar­rested po­lice­man, of­fi­cial sources said.

“The SIT is ques­tion­ing a rul­ing PDP legislator since the ar­rested po­lice­man, iden­ti­fied as Touseef Ah­mad of the state se­cu­rity wing, was de­ployed as the legislator’s per­sonal se­cu­rity,” po­lice of­fi­cials said.

The po­lice­man from Pul­wama dis­trict was picked up on Thurs­day by the in­ves­ti­ga­tors fol­low­ing a phone in­ter­cept.

The in­ter­cept, ac­cord­ing to sources, is based on the po­lice­man’s con­ver­sa­tion with a han­dler of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit, which is sus­pected of be­ing in­volved in the at­tack.

The Jammu and Kash­mir po­lice said the at­tack was car­ried out by the LeT and a Pak­istani na­tional, Muham­mad Abu Is­mail, along with an­other for­eigner and three lo­cal mil­i­tants were in­volved in the at­tack.

“The po­lice is try­ing to as­cer­tain as to who pro­vided the de­tails about the move­ment of the ve­hi­cle dur­ing the Ya­tra,” the of­fi­cials said.

So far, around 20 per­sons have been de­tained for ques­tion­ing in connection with the at­tack.

Hun­dreds of thou­sands of Hindu pil­grims trek over moun- tain trails to reach Amar­nath caves, around 3,900m above sea level, in Kash­mir ev­ery year. The devo­tees wor­ship the nat­u­ral ice for­ma­tion at the caves as a sym­bol of Shiva, the Hindu de­ity of de­struc­tion.

Two mil­i­tants killed

Two sus­pected Jaish-eMuham­mad (JeM) mil­i­tants were killed by se­cu­rity forces dur­ing an on­go­ing anti-ter­ror op­er­a­tion in Jammu and Kash­mir’s Pul­wama dis­trict on Satur­day, while the re­main­ing mil­i­tants en­tered a cave in the densely forested area.

(AFP)

Se­cu­rity of­fi­cials search peo­ple head­ing to the Amar­nath shrine cave, at Pa­hal­gam in Anant­nag dis­trict, south­east of Srinagar, on July 11

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