Police says Baramulla wine shop attack cracked within 48 hours

Police says Baramulla wine shop attack cracked within 48 hours

Srinagar: Four militants and their associate have been arrested by police in connection with a grenade blast in which an employee of a newly-opened wine shop was killed and three others were injured at Baramulla district on May 17, officials said on Thursday.

SSP Baramulla Rayees Mohammad Bhat (IPS) told GNS that the militant module of LeT (TRF), “which not only planned the attack on the wine shop recently but was involved in multiple other attacks”, was cracked with the arrest of four militants and an associate using “both human and technical resources”.

The officer said that five pistols, 23 grenades, one “suspicious package (likely IED)” besides seven magazines, 205 rounds of ammunition and 4 cleaning rods along with a bike used in the attack on the wine shop have been seized from their possession.

Besides the attack on the wine shop, the module was involved in grenade throwing in town and firing attacks etc, the officer said.

“During the course of investigation, various evidences at the scene of crime were assessed and analysed and some critical leads came to fore,” a police spokesperson said in a statement issued later in the day, adding, “CCTV footages from the nearby cameras were also obtained which helped to reconstruct the sequence of events pre and post the incident. On the basis of human and technical intelligence, few suspects were picked up for questioning.”

During sustained questioning, he said, a major breakthrough was achieved and four militants and their associate of “Falcon Squad” of LeT (TRF) were arrested. The arrested militants have been identified as Shahid Showkat Bala son of Showkat Ahmad Bala of Banglowbagh, Safeer Ahmad Mir son of Ghulam Nabi Mir of Mir Sahib Old Town, Mohammad Maroof Soleh alias Adil son of Nazir Ahmad Soleh of Kanlibagh and Faisal Shaban Gojri son of Mohammad Shaban Gojri of Chesti Colony, Baramulla and their associate has been identified as Hafif Ahmad Sofi son of Bilal Ahmad Sofi of Arampora, Baramulla.

“During further investigation and disclosures made by these (militants), various locations were raided and multiple recoveries were effected including one Bajaj Pulsar motorbike (JK05F 4822), used grenade blast on wine shop besides, 5 pistols, 9 magazines, 205 rounds, 23 grenades, an IED and other incriminating material”.

He said the consignment of weapons and explosive substance was received by these militants a few days before they carried out the attack on the wine shop.

“Further investigation also revealed that the same group was involved in various (militant) acts as was disclosed, which include last year’s grenade attacks in Baramulla town, various firing incidents in and around Baramulla, transportation of weapons and explosives etc.”

At around 2010 hours on May 17, militants hurled a grenade inside the newly opened wine shop at Dewan Bagh Baramulla, injuring four employees. One of them, Ranjit Singh son of Kishan Lal of Bakra Rajouri, succumbed to injuries within an hour while three others— Govardhan Singh, Ravi Kumar, both residents of Billawar Kathua and Govind Singh of Kangra Rajouri—are under treatment.

Soon after the attack, police in a statement said that two militants riding on a bike stopped near the wine shop. Subsequently the pillion rider “wearing a Burka” walked to the porthole of the wine shop and “dropped” a grenade inside it. “Thereafter (they) fled away on the bike from the spot”.  (GNS)

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