The Jammu & Kashmir Police today arrested three persons who acted as co-conspirators in the July 10 attack on Amarnath pilgrims in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district with help of its Special Investigation Team (SIT).
The Police identified Abu Ismail of LeT as the mastermind of the attack. The Police have described the arrests as a huge achievement in the case.
Addressing a press conference in south Kashmir’s Anantnag, IGP Kashmir Munir Khan said that Lashkar e Toiba (LeT) was involved in the attack and the arrested persons provided logistic support including vehicles and shelter to four Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists including one local recruiter.
He said LeT’s Pakistani terrorist Abu Ismail was the mastermind of the attack. Another terrorist in the group of four has been identified as Yawar Bashir who is said to be a local recruiter for the LeT. Police said efforts were on to identify the other two, believed to be Pakistanis.
The four terrorists carried out the attack that left eight pilgrims dead and nearly one and a half dozen pilgrims injured. The Yatri bus was returning from Baltal Base camp after performing Yatra.
IGP Munir Khan said that investigations also revealed that the attack on Yatris was carried out to avenge the killing of local LeT commander Bashir Lashkari who was killed alongwith his aide on July 01 during an encounter in Brenthi area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
The three co-conspirators were identified as Bilal Reshi, Aijaz Wagey and Zahoor Ahmed Sheikh who had carried out reconnaissance exercises and chosen Botengoo near Khanabal in Anantnag as the spot where the attack could be carried out.
Bilal’s elder brother Adil, a Lashker-e-Taiba terrorist, was killed by security forces earlier this year. All the accused have been produced before the court and sent to Police remand. The police also released pictures of Abu Ismail and Yawar.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police had constituted an SIT led by Deputy Inspector General (South Kashmir) to probe the attack on the pilgrims.