Government forces on Thursday foiled a major militant attack with the arrest of a “hybrid militant” in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district, police said.
The government forces also recovered arms, ammunition and explosives from a hideout and Rs 1,81,000 in cash that was to be used for militancy-related activities, they said.
The arrested “hybrid militant” was identified as Zaffar Iqbal of Bal-Angrala. He is the brother of Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Mohd Ishaq, who was killed in an encounter with government forces in Rajouri district, they said.
“Hybrid militants” are unlisted radicalised people who carry out militant strikes and slip back into their routine lives often without leaving any trace.
Information was received at Mahore police station that Zaffer Iqbal was in touch with militant handlers in Pakistan. Based on the input, a joint operation was launched by police, Rashtriya Rifles and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) teams in the Angrala forest, the police said.
During the operation, two pistols (Glock), four magazines, 22 live ammunition and one grenade were recovered from a hideout in the area. Later, Rs 1,81,000, which was to be used for militant-related activities, was also recovered, they said.
The joint team arrested “hybrid militant” Iqbal from Plaasu Nallah. During interrogation, he confessed that he was in touch with the militant groups, they added.
Reasi Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Amit Gupta said Iqbal’s arrest is a big success.
With his arrest, the SSP said, a major militant strike has been averted.
Gupta said Pakistan-based militant handlers are constantly trying to revive militancy in the upper reaches of Reasi and people like Iqbal are working for them.
The peace-loving residents of Reasi shunned militancy in the past and no such attempt will be successful in this area, the officer asserted.
According to sources, one of Iqbal’s relatives Abdul Rashid Mahore from Reasi is in Pakistan and is also working with militant groups.