B R E A K I N G N E W S [11.30 pm March 30]
Police claim to have solved Bijbehara blast; Hizb ultra Lateef Dar wanted, Abbas Dar’s 2 associates arrested
Aircel manager had allegedly provided 5 SIMs to Lashkar ultras
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
Early Times learned from authoritative sources this evening Bijbehara Police have arrested the slain militant Altaf’s brother, Tariq Ahmad and Mudassar Iqbal, who has done Bachelors in Civil Engineering, and recovered from them material and electronic evidences suggesting their involvement in the Bijbehara blast. Both are fellow villagers of Abbas Dar of Gadikhal, Awantipore, who was blown into pieces while driving a Maruti car near Bijbehara Police Station on Srinagar-Jammu highway on March 22.
According to sources, Hizbul Mujahideen’s top wanted militant, Lateef Dar of Punzgam---whose brother Rayees Kachru had died in an encounter in Shopian in November 2008---had provided potassium nitrate and other material to Abbas, Tariq and Mudassar. An IED had been fabricated and planted in the car at Jangal Naar in Awantipore area, in vicinity of Army’s Victor Force headquarters in Pulwama district of South Kashmir. However, during the night intervening March 21/22, Abbas had stayed at a hospital in
Dreaded militant Rayees Kachru, who finally died in an encounter in Shopian on the day of polling during Assembly Elections of November 2008, was involved in a number of militancy related incidents including a powerful blast in which he had destroyed a civilian Tata Sumo hired by Army at Nayina Batpora, killing the driver alongwith all the ten soldiers traveling in it. Months after his death, Lateef had disappeared and reportedly joined his brother’s organization---Hizbul Mujahideen.
According to Police, Abbas, Mudassar and Tariq had previously figured in some militancy related incidents including the blast of a Police bus near Srinagar Central Jail and another blast at Wuyan in Pampore area. In 2004, Mudassar had been arrested by SOG Srinagar but later released. Even as Tariq has not been booked till date in Bijbehara blast, Mudassar is said to have revealed to his interrogators how the IED had been fabricated, planted in the car and handed over to Abbas Dar. However, before parking the car near Bijbehara Police Station, the IED went off. The car as well as its driver, Abbas Dar, had been blown into pieces. Seventeen others, including three CRPF men of Road Opening Party (ROP), were among the injured.
According to sources, Police learned during investigation that civil engineer Mudassar Iqbal had played key role in arranging the material and other logistics for the car bomb blast. Private telecom company Aircel’s Territorial Manager for Awantipore, Basharat Saleem of Rainawari Srinagar, figured as the man who had provided five SIM cards to the militants for causing the blast. Basharat, alongwith another person working with Aircel, have been arrested. Police have launched a manhunt for the Hizbul Mujahideen fugitive Lateef Dar who is still at large. Sources said that some cellphones and SIM cards have been recovered and the disclosures of Mudassar and Tariq have been largely corroborated.