Terrorist caught by J&K villagers have suspected BJP connectionstext_fields
Jammu: One of the terrorists caught by villagers in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday is reported to have the state BJP connections, PTI reported.
The heavily-armed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, including the mastermind of recent IED blasts in Rajouri, were overpowered by villagers and handed over to the police.
But later, a political slugfest erupted between the local units of BJP and Congress after one of the captured terrorists -- Talib Hussain Shah -- was reported to be an active member of the saffron party who was recently selected as its IT and social media cell in charge of the minority morcha in Jammu province. Some pictures emerged on social media purportedly showing Shah with BJP leaders.
One of the pictures shows J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina purportedly presenting him with a bouquet and a letter issued by party leader Sheikh Bashir on May 9, assigning him the responsibility of new IT and social media in-charge of Minority Morcha (Jammu province).
Meanwhile, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and Director General of Police Dilbag Singh lauded the villagers for their courage to encounter the dangerous two and announced cash rewards for them.
"I salute the bravery of villagers of Tukson Dhok, Reasi, who apprehended two-most wanted terrorists. Such determination by the common man shows the end of terrorism is not far away. UT Govt to extend Rs five lakh cash reward to villagers for the gallant act against terrorists and terrorism," the office of LG tweeted.
Shah and his Kashmiri associate Faisal Ahmad Dar from Pulwama were in possession of two AK assault rifles, seven grenades, a pistol and a huge quantity of ammunition when they were confronted by Muslim villagers and were disarmed before being handed over to police. The villagers had tied them with ropes.
"Today, villagers of Tukson Dhok showed extreme courage in apprehending two most wanted terrorists of LeT who had reached the area to take shelter after continuous pressure from the police and army (in Rajouri district)," Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh said in a statement here.
He said the Lt Governor applauded the courage of villagers and announced a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh for their bravery, while the Director-General of Police announced a cash reward of Rs 2 lakh for them.
The duo's arrest followed the unearthing of a module headed by Shah in the Rajouri district on June 28, which was behind the recent series of explosions in the district.
While two terror operatives of the outfit were arrested along with five Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), Hussain was on the run and had moved towards the higher reaches into the nearby Reasi district to escape the dragnet of security forces.
Twin explosions rocked Kotrana town of Rajouri on March 26 and another on April 19, leaving two persons injured.
Two more persons were injured in another blast in the Shahpur-Budhal area of Rajouri on April 24.
"Shah was in constant touch with LeT terrorist Qasim based in Pakistan and was involved in at least three cases of IED blasts at Rajouri district besides civilian killings and grenade blasts," the ADGP said
He said it was revealed during preliminary questioning that the terrorists were also in touch with a Pakistani LeT handler Salman.
"People are with us in the fight against terrorism, and today's development is a step forward...this is a big success after the busting of two LeT modules in Udhampur and Rajouri, which was assigned the task to revive terrorism in parts of Jammu province," the ADGP said.
Terming the arrest of Shah and Dar a "breakthrough", officials said the LeT is making desperate attempts to revive terrorism in Pir Panchal districts of Rajouri and Poonch, Chenab valley districts of Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban, besides Reasi in Jammu province, but "we are alert and ready to meet any challenge".
As the news about villagers overpowering the two terrorists and handing them over to the police surfaced, purported pictures of Shah with the J&K BJP chief and his participation in party functions emerged on social media.
While Raina dismissed the presence of Shah in his party as a "conspiracy hatched by Pakistan to target him and the party headquarters", Pradesh Congress Committee chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said the ruling party should answer to the nation over the alleged presence of terrorists in their ranks and holding essential party positions.
While lauding the people for assisting police in capturing the two most-wanted LeT terrorists, the JK BJP chief said, "they were part of a conspiracy hatched from Pakistan to target him and the party headquarters".
He said the BJP is determined to wipe out Pakistan-sponsored terrorism from Jammu and Kashmir, and "we will not be cowed down by threats or conspiracies".
Reacting strongly, the Congress chief spokesperson said, "this is for the first time that such a thing had happened (when an office-bearer of a party is directly involved in terrorism)." "The BJP should answer to the nation about the presence of terrorists in their ranks holding important party positions. It is a very serious matter and a threat to the security of the nation," he said.