SRINAGAR: Delhi Police have claimed to have arrested a Kashmiri militant who was on a mission to kill Dasna Devi temple’s chief priest Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati. The arrested man was identified as John Mohammad Dar, 24, a Pulwama resident. He is a carpenter.
Dar, police said, was apprehended from Paharganj hotel and had been allegedly paid Rs 41,000 for killing the temple priest.
Saraswati was charged last month with injuring religious emotions by his remarks on the Prophet during a press conference in Delhi on April 1. In March, a Muslim youngster was attacked at his temple in Ghaziabad for attempting to drink water from the tap there, according to a news item published in The Indian Express. Delhi Police had registered an FIR against him in April for allegedly hurting the sentiments of a community on a complaint from AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan.
“While searching through Dar’s luggage, police recovered a .30 bore pistol along with two magazines and 15 live rounds,” an officer told the newspaper.
After arrest, Dar talked about his chance encounter with Abid, a suspected Jaish-e-Muhammad member, near his home in December 2020. They became friends and met again on April 11.
“In February, Dar came to Delhi with his sister and her father-in-law for treatment of his nephew, who has a heart ailment. Once he returned to Kashmir, Abid assigned him the assassination task,” the officer claimed, according to the newspaper. “Abid trained him and gave him Rs 6,500 in cash. He also transferred Rs 35,000 to his account and asked him to procure a weapon from his friend in Delhi.”
Reports in other media suggest that he had left Kashmir on April 23, was received in Delhi by some Umer who gave him weapons and managed his stay in the hotel. Police are now searching for Umer.