Jammu and Kashmir Police arrested three LeT militants and their associates on Monday for the murder of a sarpanch in the Baramulla district. Manzoor Ahmad Bangoo, the sarpanch of Goshbugh village in Pattan tehsil of Baramulla, was killed on April 15.
A police official said three suspects - Noor Mohammad Yatoo, Mohammad Rafiq Parray, and Ashiq Hussain Parray - were arrested after receiving reliable information that they are involved in militancy-related activities. All three are residents of Goshbugh Pattan. They admitted that they have been in contact with Mohammad Afzal Lone, an OGW of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant outfit.
The police said Yatoo is Lone's close aid and was instructed to initiate two others from the village to join their cause. Yatoo asked the Parrays to join LeT. Lone assigned all three to terminate politically affiliated targets including the sarpanch. He also sent them arms and ammunition.
Their plan was put on hold after Lone and his other three associates were arrested in connection with the Palhalan grenade blast case. The trio remained dormant until two other militants - Umer Lone and Gulzar Ganie - approached them and asked to carry out the assignments.
On April 15, Ashiq Parray talked to Umer Lone on Facebook Messenger and informed him of their plan. The militants executed the plan and killed the sarpanch in the orchards of Chanderhama Pattan.
Yatoo told the police they gave the arms and ammunition back to Lone. But upon further interrogation, he revealed they are in a box in his house. Police so far found three pistols, two grenades, three magazines, and 32 bullets.