A special team constituted by police to probe recent killings and attacks in Sopore Town of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district have detained dozens of youths for questioning, security officials told GNS on Wednesday.

They said the team –– consisting of officers from police’s Special Operation Group, army, Central Reserve Police Force and other agencies –– detained over 40 youth from Sopore areas as well as from its outskirts since yesterday.

“The arrests are part of the ongoing investigations and all this is being to ensure safety of people. We don’t want repeat of killings or attacks again and we also want to ensure that people don’t face any inconvenience in coming days,” the security officials said.

Sources said that forces, who have been deployed all across Sopore and in its adjoining areas, detained several bikers and they too were questioned by probe team. They said no detained youth was formally booked and few of them were also released.

Police on Tuesday placed a bounty of 2 million rupees on the heads of two “wanted militants” of a ‘splinter Hizbul Mujahideen group’. The two, Abdul Qayoom Najar and Imtiyaz Ahmad Kundoo have been accused of killing policemen and civilians including former militants and a Hurriyat activist.

“We have almost identified the attackers and now we want to neutralize them,” an officer, privy to the investigations said. In reply to a question, he said: “We have said that we won’t disclose the name of informants. But yes, there are some good people who approach us voluntarily and share information with us.”

Meanwhile, official sources said that following a grenade attack on a mobile tower yesterday in Kralteng locality of Sopore, the government forces on Wednesday beefed up security near the telecommunication masts and intensified patrolling.

In addition, police have deployed 16 teams in and around Sopore who are maintaining a close vigil on the suspects as well conducting frisking. “The army is providing back up to these teams and the teams have been deployed on all the roads leading to Sopore.  These teams are for surveillance,” a top security official said.


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