Sopore Municipal Councilor attack: 06 Militant associates arrested: Police

Srinagar, April 10: Police on Saturday claimed to have busted a Lashker-e-Toiba network who are believed to be behind the attack on Municipal Councilors and Police in North Kashmir’s Sopore.

In a statement, the police said that Sopore Police busts the network involved in the militant attack of 29th March by apprehending the OGW’s and seizure of the Bike used in the attack.

On 29th March, After the killing of two Municipal councillors and a Police Man. Multiple CASO’s were launched by Sopore Police along with other security forces at suspected locations Dangepora, Brath Kalan ,Sidiq Colony Sopore, Model Town , Batpora.

Various suspects were picked up for the questioning and during questioning one suspect OGW namely Ashiq Ahmad Pandith of Dangerpora revealed that the militants namely Mudasir Pandith @ Maaz along with foreign militant namley @ Asrar before militant attack had stayed at his residence from 25-03-2021 to 28-03-2021 and had planned the whole militant attack.

Further during questioning name of another suspect namely Junaid Ahmad Shusha of Model Town Sopore came to fore. He disclosed that he came in contact with Mudasir Pandith @ Maaz in the month of November 2020 at the residence of his cousin, Umair Ashiq in Model Town Sopore .

Mudasir Pandith @ Maaz along with his two foreign militants @ Ahmad and @ AbuSariya stayed for the night on instructions of Sayeed Imran, an OGW of LeT outfit.

Junaid Ahmad Shusha and Umair Ashiq were convinced by Mudasir Pandith @ Maaz to work for LeT and they were introduced to Sajid Ali POK handler of LeT. Upon Imran disclosure, Umair Ashiq and Sayeed Imran were picked up and confessed that both of them were indeed working for proscribed outfit LeT and were providing logistic support to banned organisation to strengthen their network in main town Sopore and further revealed that they have conducted the reccee of Lone Complex Sopore on the directions of @ Maaz and Sajid.

The statement further stated that upon revelations of these suspects, another hardcore OGW , Shakir Yousuf Bhat resident of Batpora was apprehended who further revealed that he is cousin of militant Mudasir Pandith @ Maaz and prior to his joining with militants ranks they were working together as mechanic in local workshop at Sopore and was in touch with him since then.

He told that he used to ferry Mudasir and his associates from Sopore to other places (Wagoora,Nowpora Kerri Baramulla ,Sahipora,Pandithpora,Tulwari Handwara ,Hajin Bandipora) .

To execute the militants action which Mudasir Pandith @ Maaz along with his foreign associate had hatched at the residence of his maternal cousin Ashiq Ahmad Pandith during their stay from (25 to 28 March ) on the directions of main handler from across namely Sajid Ali, Maaz activated his OGW network, including Junaid Shusha,Umair Ashiq and Syed Imran. On his directions Umair recceed the site and send back his feedback.

Then again on 28th, on some pretext Ashiq Pandith also came at the complex for recce. In the late evening of 28th March this year, Shakir along with his friend Feroz Ahmed Bhat resident of Batpora Sopore went to Dangerpora to bring Mudasir Pandith @ Maaz and his foreign militant to Batpora,and stayed at the residence of Feroz Ahmad Bhat for the night. From their stay at Feroz’s home they again communicated with other OGW’s about conducting physical recci.

He directed Junaid ahmad Shusha and Syed Imran of Model Town Sopore to remain present near the Municipal office the next day (29th March from 9.00 Hrs) On the next day Shakir took Mudasir Pandith @ Maaz & foreign Asrar on his bike following interiors roads, in order to avoid security check points.

They reached the place of the occurrence where his other associates were waiting for them as per their prior (last night ) directions.

Before entering the complex militant Mudasir Pandith @ Maaz asked the duo (Junaid & Imran) to go inside and to get latest information regarding the presence of Police personal and counsellors.

At about 12.48 hrs militants went inside the complex and indiscriminately opened fire upon Police personal and counsellors resulting on spot death of counsellors Riyaz Ahamd Pir & SPO Shafat Ahmad and seriously injuring counsellor Shamus Din Pir who later succumbed to his injuries.

They then boarded Shakir’s bike and escaped into Syedpora Orchards using interior roads. Sopore Police along with the sister agencies are working tirelessly to nab or eliminate the dreaded militants, reads the statement.

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