SRINAGAR: In a significant catch, Army has arrested a terrorist of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit in Baramulla district of Kashmir and recovered an Aadhaar card from his possession, raising serious concern in the security establishment.
Abdul Rehman, a resident of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, had infiltrated in January and was engaged in recuiting local youth for “suicide” attacks, Army said.
“A special joint operation was conducted with police, in which a Pakistani terrorist – Abdul Rehman, who belongs to JeM cadre, has been arrested alive. It is a huge success because we are hopeful of getting important information from him when we interrogate him,” Major General J S Nain, General Officer Commanding (GOC), Baramulla Division, told reporters in Baramulla, about 55 kms from here.
The official said the operation spanned two months, with the security forces keeping a track of Rehman’s movement in the Valley before finally arresting him from a forest area near Old Town of Baramulla on Friday.
“We tracked his movement. He came to Baramulla seven times. He tried recruiting people in Baramulla, Sopore and Kupwara,” the GoC said.
“He told us that he took training at Balakote training camp in Pakistan under ISI’s guidance for three-four months.
Then in January he infiltrated into India along with his four companions.
“They hid in forest areas for one or two months and then this group spread and Rehman was assigned the responsibility of Baramulla, Sopore and areas near them to recruit for JeM and prepare a module for it and the overall aim was to carry big ‘fidayeen’ (suicide) attacks,” he said.
The official said recruiting youth in Kashmir for suicide missions was something new and a matter of serious concern.
“This is a new thing which has come to the fore as it is for the first time that a group has come for recruitment to the Valley for its fidayeen squad. This is a serious matter.
“So, this is a huge success for security forces and whatever information we get from him, we can then launch operations based on that intelligence,” he said.
Major Gen Nain said an Aadhar card has been recovered from Rehman’s possession in the name of Shabir Ahmad Khan and if the card turns out to be genuine, it is a “matter of concern” for the security agencies.
In fact, the army official said all the five terrorists were given an Aadhaar card each when they entered the Valley.
“It will be established by an inquiry whether the Aadhaar card is genuine or not. If it is fake, then it is not a matter of great concern as one can get fake documents
However, if it is original, then definitely, it is matter of concern for all of us,” Major Gen Nain said.
He said militant groups were trying to create a situation in north Kashmir similar to south Kashmir where their activities are high.
“There is a lot of terrorist activity in south Kashmir and the situation is hot. Since the last few months, all the outfits are trying to create similar situation in north Kashmir. They thought they could attract people as fidayeen action gets huge media coverage and fame,” the army official said.
“During his interrogation, Rehman said the modus operandi was that after recruiting youth, they were to train them for two weeks and supply them arms and ammunition. After the training, they would have got orders from their handlers in Pakistan,” he said.
He said Rehman was about to become JeM commander of Baramulla area because there was a vacuum in the area after another JeM militant Mohammad Sidiq was arrested in February.
“We do not know yet how many people have they recruited and he did not tell us in detail about the route of their infiltration. I am sure we will get to know about that during his interrogation,” Major Gen Nain said.