NIA to probe arrest of three Kashmiri students

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Srinagar

The National Investigating Agency will probe the arrest of three Kashmiri students, allegedly associated with militant outfit AnsarGhazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), from Punjab recently, The Indian Express quoted Director-General of Punjab Police Suresh Arora as saying.

According to a report published by The Indian Express said that the three students were arrested last month in a joint operation by the Punjab Police and Special Operations Group (SoG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police from the hostel of CT Institute of Engineering Management and Technology in Shahpur, on the outskirts of Jalandhar. Two weapons, including an Assault Rifle, were seized from them along with explosives.

“The decision to hand over the case was taken after discussions between the Punjab government and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs,” the report quoted Arora as saying.

“Initial investigations had revealed that the students, identified as Zahid Gulzar, Mohammad Idriss Shah, and Yousuf Rafiq Bhatt, were associated with ‘AGH’, a Kashmir-based militant outfit with reported links to Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). According to sources, the outfit is headed by Zakir Rashid Bhatt aka Zakir Mussa,” reported The Indian Express.

“While deciding to hand over the case to NIA, the two governments had also taken note of the fact that after these arrests, two more Kashmiri students were arrested by the Punjab Police in connection with the Maqsudan Police Station hand-grenade blasts case of September 14. Two of their accomplices were reported to be still absconding,” the report said.

“This was indicative of efforts by Pakistan’s ISI to expand the arc of militancy on India’s western border,” the report quoted Arora as saying, underlining the need to “unravel the entire conspiracy and network built by these outfits/individuals in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.”

The quoted Arora as saying that the decision to hand over the investigations to NIA was aimed at ensuring speedy and more effective probe. The state government was also of the view that the growing attempts by Pakistan-based ISI and terror outfits/elements based abroad to revive terrorism in Punjab required strong and concerted efforts by the National Agency, which has the mandate to investigate all over the country and even abroad.

The Punjab Police, he said, would extend all necessary support and help to NIA to ensure that the investigations are completed, and the complete nexus of terrorist outfits/elements based in India and abroad is identified and broken at the earliest, reported The Indian Express.

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