Within hours after busting a gang of terrorists involved in smuggling arms in oil tankers, security forces on Thursday cracked another module of terrorists involved in recruiting innocent youth in the name of a fake NGO functioning in north Kashmir.
Six terrorist associates have been arrested so far by the security forces and five pistols and other ammunition were recovered from their possession.
"The arrested terrorists were running a fake NGO named 'Islahi Relief Trust' in north Kashmir to provide monetary assistance to the poor and needy families", Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kupwara Yugal Manhas said, adding, "In the name of this NGO the members of this module were easily collecting funds and recruiting youth in terror outfits active in Kashmir Valley".
The arrested terrorists were associated with Tehreek-e-ul Mujahideen Jammu & Kashmir (TuMJK) which is active in some parts of north Kashmir.
"Police along with the Army busted the terror funding and recruitment module after the arrest of one terrorist Bilal Ahmed Dar of Cheerkote area of Kupwara district", the SSP said.
"A joint operation was launched by the Army and Kupwara police to nab the individual from the general area Nutnussa and Lolab localities of Kupwara. After thorough interrogation, the individual revealed that he along with five other people from different parts of North Kashmir were running a terror funding racket under the garb of a fake NGO called "Islahi Relief Trust" which claimed to provide monetary assistance to poor and needy families," the SSP said.
Bilal Ahmad was actively involved in coordinating the funding activities and aiding recruitment by organizing "Ijtema" meetings in different villages where he along with other members of the NGO would try and lure young people into anti-national activities.
Following the disclosure of Bilal, security forces arrested Wahid Ahmed Bhatt from Kachloo, Langate, Javed Ahmed Najar from Singapore, Baramulla, Mushtaq Ahmed Najar of Brath Sopore, and Bashir Ahmed Mir from Mundji area of Sopore.
Another individual named Zubair Ahmed Dar was arrested from the Cheerkote area, who is Bilal's cousin, and was actively involved in the module.
Pakistan-based handlers were coordinating module
The module was being coordinated by Pakistan-based handlers to aid the operations of TuMJK in north Kashmir. "The modus operandi of the group was to go to different villages and conduct events and gatherings under the garb of the NGO and would collect money by asking for charity and also scout for potential soft targets as recruits," he said.
"The accounts in the NGO's name were being used to launder money for the TuMJK." SSP said and added that this was also responsible for sticking anti-national posters around the 15th of August and during the visit of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Baramullah.
Bilal and his associates were receiving instructions from across the border from Dr. Sahib alias Manzoor Shah alias Gen Abdullah whose real name is Ghulam Rasool Shah.
Shah, a native of Hyhama Kupwara, is presently based in Pakistan. Other Pakistan-based handlers namely Sultan Peer of Sulkoot Kupwara, Yousaf Baloch alias Osama alias Qureshi and Hamza alias Mushtaq were also coordinating this module.
"A huge quantity of arms, ammunition, the raw material to prepare IED and incriminating material has also been recovered from all the apprehended individuals", SSP said and added that five pistols, ten magazines, 49 pistol rounds, and two grenades recovered from arrested persons.
Second module busted in the last 24 hours
During the last 24 hours, two terror modules have been busted by forces in J&K. On Wednesday Jammu Police foiled an attempt of terrorists trying to smuggle arms into Kashmir Valley by busting a terror module involved in transporting weapons in oil tankers.