M A I N   N E W S

Terrorists make inroads into Army
Three jawans working for Lashkar-e-Toiba arrested in Poonch
Tribune News Service and PTI

Jammu, July 26
In the first incident of its type in the 17 years’ history of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, three Army jawans have been arrested in the border district of Poonch on the charges of operating as over ground workers (OWGs) of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit.

Their detention of the jawans by the Army intelligence last week indicates infiltration of ultras into the armed forces.

The incident comes close on the heels of a warning by the National Security Adviser, Mr M.K. Narayanan, that terrorists might have infiltrated the IAF and armed forces.

The arrested soldiers, identified as lance-naik Mohammad Shakeel, sepoy Abdul Haq and Mohammad Sharief, were in the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JKLI). While Shakeel was posted in the 1st JKLI in the Domana brigade, near Akhnoor, Haq was deployed at Sunjwan, near here. Both these formations come under the Yol (Himachal Pradesh)-based 9 Corps.

They were being interrogated at a joint interrogation centre at Miran Sahib, near here, sources said.

Their arrest has come on the basis of the interrogation of two policemen, Sikendar and Kabir, who were picked up by the intelligence agencies following inputs from Tipu Sultan and two other terrorists arrested in connection with the serial blasts in the bus stand here in early June. One of these terrorists was a close relative of Sikendar.

The arrested soldiers belong to the terrorist-infested area of Morha Gursai in Poonch district. They were reportedly working as OWGs of the LeT for the past about three years. They were allegedly providing mobile phone SIM cards to terrorists on fake names and also supplying batteries and pencil cells to be used in making explosives to them.

The sources said the soldiers told the interrogators that the LeT commander of the area, Abu Osama, was a frequent visitor to their houses and had established contact with them. Osama was recently killed in a joint operation by the Army and the CRPF in the area. He had attacked the CRPF post in the village twice.

The OWGs were picked up by the military intelligence from the border village of Mendhar.

This is for the first time that Army jawans have been arrested in connection with terrorist connections. However, policemen were apprehended from time to time on such charges.

A number of special police officers (SPOs) have joined the terrorist ranks. A group of SPOs in the Doda district deserted their posts and joined terrorist outfits along with the arms and ammunition that was provided to them for protecting innocent people.

A conduit of the LeT was arrested outside the high security terrorist jail at Kot Bhalwal here earlier this week while he was carrying Rs 35,000 to be delivered to the Pakistani terrorists in the prison. He was arrested by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) that had laid a trap following reports of such activities in the jail.




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