Held militants met Salahuddin

Hizbul Mujahideen chief had asked them to carry out terror strikes in India

Held militants met Salahuddin

Hizbul Mujahideen militants Javed Ahmed (L) and Ashiq Ali (R) arrested by Delhi Police special cell in New Delhi on Friday. PTI

Javed Ahmed Tantray and Ashiq Ali Bhatt, the alleged militants belonging to Jammu and Kashmir, who were remanded to police custody till August 17 by a court on Friday following their arrest from central Delhi’s Daryaganj at around 11 pm on Thursday night, had met Salahuddin several times after their first introduction in 2003.

“(A few months back) Salahuddin told them that they would be given some important assignment in India in near future,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) P N Aggarwal told reporters here.

The arrests came hours after the government made public intelligence inputs about possible terror strikes in three cities— Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata — ahead of Independence Day celebrations.

According to Aggarwal, the arrested men got their arms training in terror camps in Boi and Mansura in PoK.

“Ali and Ahmed had met Salahuddin several times. A few months back, Salahuddin and Hizb Deputy Commander Khalid Saifulla met them in their camps and told that they would be tasked with some important assignment in India in near future. After around 15 days, Shahid, their Hizb contact, told them to get ready to leave for India,” Aggarwal said.
According to the police, Ali and Ahmed had met Shahid, their contact in Rawalpindi, on July 29. “Shahid gave them Rs 40,000 and sent both of them to Nepal by Pakistan Airlines.

Train to Jammu

“An unidentified man received them in Kathmandu who took them to Pokhra and later they reached Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. On August three, they boarded a train to Jammu,” a senior police official said.

In Jammu, they contacted one Faiyaz who arranged a car for them to travel to Delhi along with arms and ammunition. “They were asked to contact Shahid in Pakistan once they reach Delhi,” the official claimed.

Aggarwal said one of the militants after reaching Daryaganj, contacted Shahid from a telephone booth who instructed them to meet one Rizwan in Sarai Kale Khan and follow his directions.

“We sent a team to Sarai Kale Khan but we could not find anyone,” he said.

On the sequence of events that led to the arrests, police sources said they received an input at around 4 pm on Thursday that two militants were on their way to Daryaganj from Jammu. “Three teams were deployed at Singhu border, Bypass and Daryaganj. We spotted them at the border and we tailed them to Daryaganj. They parked their car in Mahavir Vatika and one of them made a call to Shahid,” Aggarwal said.

Police caught the duo when they were about to leave from the parking area.

Arms recovered

Two AK-47 assault rifles, four magazines containing 120 rounds, cash worth Rs 24,410 and two fake identity cards were seized from their vehicle, Aggarwal said. Asked whether police had recovered any parking slip from the arrested, which is normally issued before entering the Mahavir Vatika parking lot, Aggarwal replied in negative.

During interrogation, Aggarwal said Ali told police that that he came in contact with terrorists in 2003. Three militants Khatib, Ilyas, Gazi and Umar Farooq allegedly motivated him to join Hizb. “He was indoctrinated to carry out terror strikes in a jungle in Kathua. He was given the code name Faisal. Later, he was introduced to one Ehsan who took him to PoK for training along with 60 others,” Aggarwal said. Ali was trained in a camp in Boi.

After completing his training in 2004, he stayed in the camp and visited several places in Pakistan like Islamabad, Karachi and Rawalpindi besides Muzaffarabad. Javed told interrogators that he came into contact with terrorist elements in 1997 when three militants Riyaz, Tarique and Dilawar “motivated” him into joining Hizb.

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