Srinagar (NVI): Jammu and Kashmir Police today busted the network involved in the March 29 terror attack in which two Municipal Councilors and a policeman had died, in Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
The police have also arrested six Over Ground Workers (OGWs) and seized a vehicle used in the aforesaid attack.
According to police, the accused has been identified as Ashiq Ahmad Pandith, resident of Dangerpora, Junaid Ah Shusha, residence of Model Town, Sopore, Umair Ashiq, Sajid Ali, Shakir and Feroz Ahmed Bhat.
The police said multiple CASO’s were launched by Sopore Police along with other security forces at suspected locations including Dangepora, Brath Kalan, Sidiq Colony Sopore, Model Town, Batpora in which various suspects were picked up for the questioning.
“During the questioning one suspect OGW namely Ashiq Ahmad Pandith of Dangerpora revealed that the terrorists namely Mudasir Pandith aka Maaz along with Asrar had stayed at his residence from March 25 to 28 and had planned the whole terror attack,” the police added.
During further questioning, name of another suspect identified as Junaid Ah Shusha, residence of Model Town, Sopore came to the fore. He disclosed that he came in contact with Mudasir Pandith in the month of November 2020 at the residence of his cousin, Umair Ashiq in Model Town, Sopore.
“Mudasir Pandith along with his two foreign terrorists identified as Ahmad and Abu Sariya stayed for a night on instructions of Sayeed Imran, an OGW of LeT outfit. Junaid Ah Shusha and Umair Ashiq were convinced by Mudasir Pandith to work for LeT and they were introduced to Sajid Ali, PoK handler of LeT,” the police disclosed.
Divulging further, the police said, upon Imran disclosure, Umair Ashiq and Sayeed Imran were picked up and confessed that both of them were indeed working for proscribed outfit LeT and were providing logistic support to banned organisation to strengthen their hold in main town Sopore and further revealed that they have conducted the recce of Lone Complex Sopore on the directions of Maaz and Sajid.
The police said that upon revelations of these suspects, another hardcore OGW, Shakir Yousuf Bhat, residence Batpora was apprehended who further revealed that he is cousin of terrorist Mudasir Pandith and prior to his joining the terrorists ranks, they were working together as mechanic in local workshop at Sopore and was in touch with him since then.
“He told that he used to ferry Mudasir and his associates from Sopore to other places (Wagoora, Nowpora kerri Baramulla, Sahipora, Pandithpora, Tulwari Handwara, Hajin Bandipora),” the police said.
According to police, to execute the terror action which Mudasir Pandith along with his foreign associate had hatched at the residence of his maternal cousin Ashiq Ahemad Pandith during their stay from March 25 to 28 on the directions of main handler Sajid Ali, Maaz activated his OGW network, including Junaid Shusha, Umair Ashiq and Syed Imran.
On his directions, Umair recced the site and send back his feedback.
Then again on March 28, Ashiq Pandith also came at the complex for recce. In the late evening of same day, Shakir along with his friend Feroz Ahmed Bhat, residence of Batpora Sopore went to Dangerpora to bring Mudasir Pandith and his foreign terrorist to Batpora, and stayed at the residence of Feroz Ahmad Bhat for the night.
From their stay at Feroz’s home, they again communicated with other OGW’s about conducting physical recce.
He directed Junaid Ahemad Shusha and Syed Imran of Model Town, Sopore to remain present near the Municipal office the next day (March 29).
On the next day Shakir took Mudasir Pandith and Asrar on his bike following interiors roads to avoid security check points.
They reached the place of the occurrence where his other associates /OGW’s were waiting for them as per their prior directions. Before entering the complex, terrorist Mudasir Pandith asked Junaid and Imran to go inside and to get latest information regarding the presence of police personal and counsellors.
At about 12.48 hrs, terrorists went inside the complex and indiscriminately opened fire upon police personal and counsellors resulting on spot death of counsellor Riyaz Ahamd Pir and SPO Shafat Ahmad, seriously injuring counsellor Shamus Din Pir who later succumbed to his injuries.
They then boarded Shakir’s bike and escaped into Syedpora Orchards using interior roads.
“Sopore Police along with the sister agencies are working tirelessly to nab or eliminate the remaining dreaded terrorists,” the police said.