The former Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf, has admitted to the involvement of Lashkar-e-Taliban in Kashmir. He added that he has always backed the Pakistani terror outfit to ‘suppress’ the Indian army. During an interview with Pakistani TV news channel Ary News, Musharraf said that he was the ‘biggest supporter’ of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and the LeT. He further added that the LeT also favors him.
The US had named Saeed a terrorist and imposed a bounty of $10 million on him post the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. However, Musharraf denied any involvement of the LeT founder during the attacks. Last week, Saeed had been freed from house arrest by an order of the Lahore High Court.
Earlier in 2002, the LeT had been banned by the Musharraf led Pakistani government. On being asked about the ban, Musharraf said “We had banned LeT because the situation was different at that time. We were moving towards peace and I thought we should reduce ‘mujahids’ (religious warrior) and increase political dialogue and frankly I had very less knowledge about him.”
Sources: Times of India, News18
Jamat-ud-Dawaah, suspected to be a font for banned terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba has launched a new political party named Milli Muslim League in Pakistan. Jamat-ud-Dawaah is currently registered as a charitable trust and claims to be championing cause of Islamic Humanitarian programme. This step is contrast with previous views of LeT chief Hafeez Saeed who has denounced democracy and elections and declared them to be incompatible with Islam. India and America have already declared LeT as the key perpetrator behind the 2008 Mumbai Attacks, and there is a bounty of $10 million dollars offered by America regarding information and capture of Hafeez Saeed.
But Saeed has always denied his involvement in the referred attacks and was only placed under house arrest only eight months earlier by Pakistan. Although Saeed missed the event of launch of the party, President of Milli Muslim League-Saifullah Khalid expressed that the aim of the party was to connect to grassroots level and propel Pakistan towards an Islamic and Welfare State. However, U.S. State Department Report on Terrorism for 2016 which was launched recently stated that LeT still raises funds for its activities in Pakistan. Security Analysts state that the move to form a new political party was to provide a better cover to the militants and their other covert activities in the light of increased pressure from global community on Pakistan to crack down LeT and JuD.
News Sources- Reuters, Nasdaq
The Jammu and Kashmir police on Monday morning arrested Sandeep Kumar Sharma, an Uttar Pradesh man who has been allegedly been helping Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
This is a first of its kind incident where an Indian LeT operative outside of the Kashmir valley.
Sharma who also goes by the name of Adil is from troubled region of Muzaffarnagar, according to an interview given by the Inspector General of Police, Muneer Khan to CNN News18, Sharma had moved to Kashmir back in 2012 for work.
Sandeep allegedly planned at least five ATM loots worth lakhs of rupees this year after becoming an associate of notorious LeT militant Bashir Lashkari.
Police also believe that he was also a part of an attack on the police party at Achabal which resulted in the death of 7 cops.
Labelling Sharma as a militant Khan said that criminal elements have started joining the elements for their own personal goals.
Addressing a packed house in Srinagar the Jammu and Kashmir presented Sharma with his face covered in a black cloth and informed that, he was used extensively in militant operations since he had the advantage of not being from the state and his car having UP registered number plates.
The arrest comes in the times of growing unrest in the valley and also gives the situation a new dimension altogether.
Source: The Hindu, Hindustan Times
During the early hours of Saturday, July 1, 2017, a gun battle ensued among militants and security forces stationed in Anantnag. In the ambush, one of the top Lashkar-e-Taiba militants was trapped by the forces along with four other ultras.
“Bashir Lakshari and three terrorists are trapped in the security forces cordon in village Brenti in Anantnag,” confirmed a police spokesman.
Unfortunately, during the exchange of fire a civilian woman was hit by bullets. Tahira, 44, later succumbed to injuries when she was taken to a district hospital. The police had been keeping a close watch on the militant, Bashir Lakshari, who was involved in the killing of six policeman last month in the vicinity of Achabal area near South Kashmir.
The police were tipped off by local informants about the presence of the militants in the Brenti-Batpora locality. Subsequently, a cordon-and-search operation was initiated to trace down the militants. The search operation soon turned into gunfire battle after the militants started to open fire on the fast encroaching police officials. The militants even started using human shields to fend off police retaliation.
Sources: Deccan Herald, Economic Times
Three local militants from the terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba were shot down by Indian security forces during the early hours of June 22, 2017. The encounter between militants and Indian armed forces began in the Kakapora area, Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
The Commanding Officer of the 182 battalion said, “Three LeT terrorists were killed, and the operation ended early morning. Two AK-47s and one pistol have been recovered”. The three militants were identified as Majid, Irshad Ahmad and Shariq Ahmad.
The cordon-and-search operation began on the evening of June 21, 2017, following an intelligence input that three local boys, who had joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group, were hiding in a densely-populated area. This encounter was a joint operation between the Special Operation Group (SOG) and 183 CRPF battalion, along with 50 rashtriya rifles. The number of militants holed up in the area was not immediately clear. A police official told PTI that a mob pelted stones at security forces to distract them from the operation.
“This is the first successful counter-insurgency operation in Pulwama area which is believed to have large presence of local militants aided with a strong network of over ground workers”, a police officer told PTI. He also added that Majid was involved in a number of killings, including that of Kakapora’s sarpanch and Pulwama’s district president.
Sources: The Hindu, ANI
On Wednesday, December 14, security forces in Kashmir’s Sopore district succeeded in neutralising top Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander – Abu Bakr. According to The Financial Express, the forces had received a tip-off that the latter was hiding in the area. They cordoned the area and began investigating the allegation, resulting in the encounter that killed Abu Bakr.
A search operation was also conducted to root out any remaining dangers. Earlier in the morning, a militant, Basit Ahmad Dar, was also killed by security forces in Anantnag. Dar was a recent initiate into the terrorist organisation Hizbul Mujahideen and was part of the group that opened fire on an army patrol party at Beewra in the Srigufwara area. Dar was killed in the retaliatory fire from the security forces.
These attacks and encounters have become the usual fare in Kashmir as terrorists from Pakistan look to strengthen their base. On December 1, a terrorist was gunned down in Anantnag itself; last month, security forces exchanged fire with a large number of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Handwara district.
Sources: The Financial Express, The Quint, First Post
Thursday morning began with a gunfight between the security forces and three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, who were hiding in a house, in the Arwani village of Anantnag, located in southern Kashmir.
The firing continued for six hours resulting in the death of all the three militants .According to the local agencies, this lead to conflict between protesters trying to reach the fight site and security forces deployed in the valley. But, this was denied by the police officials, reported the HT.
Communication services (mobile and internet) were suspended without any official order, in order to prevent any rumors from spreading.Also, the police have confirmed that the three militants were localites of the valley and belonged to south Kashmir.
It was suspected that Abu Dujana, the LeT commander was among the militants, but managed to escape from the village which lies in proximity to Bijbehara town, the ancestral home of chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. But these reports haven’t been confirmed or denied by the security officials.
Dujana was last seen participating in a rally post the killing of the Hizul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, whose death lead to violence all over the valley for almost two months resulting in the death of almost 100 people.
SOURCES : Times of India, The Statesman
Image Source : AFP