The Punjab Police on Thursday foiled a major attempt to smuggle weapons into the Valley for carrying out terror attacks, with the arrest of two  J&K-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives.

 Ten hand grenades, along with one AK-47 rifle with 2 magazines and 60 live cartridges, were seized from the suspected militants, identified as Aamir Hussain Wani (26 yrs), r/o Hafsarmal, Distt. Shopian, and Wasim Hassan Wani (27 yrs) r/o Sharmal, PS Jainapora, Distt. Shopian.

 The duo, actively involved in transporting automatic weapons and hand grenades from Punjab to the Kashmir Valley, were nabbed by the Pathankot police, who intercepted a truck bearing registration No. JK-03-C-7383 at a Naka on the Amritsar-Jammu highway in the PS Sadar area.

 Giving details, DGP Dinkar Gupta said the search of the truck led to the recovery of the weapons and ammunition, and the accused, during preliminary investigation, revealed that they had been directed to collect this weapons consignment from Punjab by Ishfaq Ahmed Dar alias Bashir Ahmed Khan, a former J&K constable. Currently an active militant of LeT in the Kashmir valley, Dar had absconded in 2017.

 The duo further disclosed that they had collected the consignment from two unknown persons early this morning at a pre-arranged location on Maqboolpura-Vallah road near the vegetable market in Amritsar. They had then concealed the consignment in the truck, which they had brought ostensibly for the purpose of loading vegetables and fruits from the mandi in Amritsar, according to the DGP.

 Aamir Hussain Wani has revealed that, on his earlier trips to Punjab in his truck, he had collected more than Rs. 20 Lacs of hawala money at the behest of his handlers – Ishfaq Ahmed Dar and Dr. Rameez Raja, who is currently lodged in a jail in J&K for his involvement in terror activities.

 Aamir has also disclosed that, during previous trips to Amritsar, he had ferried two armed Hizbul Mujahideen and LeT militants from Punjab to the Valley. Incidentally, both the men are now dead. They were identified by Aamir as Hizbul Mujahideen’s Saddam Ahmed Paddar, s/o Farooq Ahmed Paddar r/o Hepp, Distt. Pulwama and Jasim Ahmed Shah (died) s/o Gulam Ahmed Shah r/o Malnar Distt. Pulwama of LeT.  Paddar was picked up with a pistol from near Verka, Anmritsar, while Shah was picked up from a Kashmiri hotel near Gurdaspur Bypass, Batala,  with a AK-47 and grenade in his possession.

 A case FIR under section 25/54/59 Arms Act, 3/4/5 Explosive Substances Amendment Act 2001 and 13, 17, 18, 18-B, 20 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, PS Sadar Pathankot, Distt. Pathankot has been registered, and further investigations are on to unravel this network of Lashkar-e-Toiba and their operations in Punjab, in coordination with the J&K police, said the DGP.

 According to Gupta, the arrest of Aamir and Wasim  had corroborated recent intelligence inputs indicating that Pak ISI has been pushing weapon consignments and infiltrating militants from across the border into Punjab, and further to Kashmir valley for carrying out terror activities.  Earlier, on 25th April, 2020, Punjab Police had arrested another J&K based youth, namely Hilal Ahmed Wagay, who had come to collect drug money from Amritsar, on the instructions of slain Hizbul Mujahadeen Commander Riaz Ahmed Naikoo. In that case also, Hilal Ahmed had used a truck for ferrying the drug money.

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