Srinagar: In a major breakthrough ahead of Republic Day celebrations in Kashmir, security forces on Saturday busted a network of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) in Sopore area of North Kashmir and arrested five militants of the outfit who were planning attacks on VIPs and security forces.
Police in Sopore and army’s 52 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) conducted searches in Sangrama area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district and arrested a wanted militant of HuM outfit, Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi of Sopore and his accomplice and recovered arms and ammunition from their possession.
The HuM was in the process of reviving its network in the Kashmir valley.
“We arrested the terrorist based on our sources. He belonged to the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. It used to operate in Kashmir. It was completely wiped out in 2012. He was the only terrorist left of the module. He has been doing some underground activities for the last three-four years,” said district Inspector General Garib Das.
“He had directions to establish Harkat-ul-Mujahideen in the valley. When the police here got a tip off, the militant was arrested. We have arrested some of his associates as well,” the IG added.
Sofi was in constant touch through WhatsApp with his handler Sajjad Shaheen alias Sajjad Afghani, an Afghan war veteran, who was handler of the group.
Sajjad is believed to be based in Pakistan and one of the top commanders of the HuM.
Earlier on Saturday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested eight more suspects from 12 locations in six different cities, in connection with planning to carry out terrorist activities in various parts of India.
The NIA will continue with their extensive terror crackdown and will maintain the interrogations and investigations.