Srinagar: Security forces on Saturday claimed to have busted a Hizbul Mujahideen module involved in hawala transactions by arresting four people, including a former militant, in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir. Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of police and army personnel intercepted a car at Kallar village along Rajouri-Jammu road and arrested the four, a police official said.
One of the four is a local youth from Rajouri. The rest are residents of south Kashmir’s Shopian district, he said. He identified them as former Harkat-ul-Mujahideen militant Aijaz Ahmad, Mohammad Arif, Sajad Ahmad Malla and Khursheed Ahmad Thokar. The official said the four people were working for militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.
Ahmad had surrendered to security forces in 2005 and underwent two-year detention under the Public Safety Act. Malla too was detained under the PSA for months in 2016, the official told.
The preliminary questioning of the four revealed they had come to Rajouri to collect money on the directions of Zeenat-ul-Islam, who took over as the leader of Hizbul Mujahideen after the killing of its commander Sadam Paddar last week, he said.
“Arif used to collect hawala money for the outfit and used to send it to Kashmir,” he said, adding that Malla was in contact with Hizbul’s finance head Khursheed Ahmad, who is based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The contact between the two was established by Paddar.
The official said the arrested persons were being questioned and more arrests should happen in the coming days.