Al-Badr chief Ganie Khwaja’s killing a major success of security forces: IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar

Ganie Khwaja crossed over to Pak in 2000, left Hizb in 2019, became Al-Badr chief in 2020

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar on Wednesday called the killing of Al-Badr chief Ganie Khwaja a major success of security forces in Kashmir as the slain militant commander was instrumental in recruiting youth into militancy and receiving new groups from across the LoC.

Addressing a press brief at Police Control Room (PCR) Srinagar, the IGP Kashmir briefed, “Sopore Police received a tip-off yesterday and laid a cordon after which an encounter broke out in Tujjar area. CRPF and Army later joined in. However, two militant associates of Khwaja managed to flee when cordon was laid.

The Kashmir Police chief added that “in the ensuing gunfight, Khwaja was killed.”

Khwaja had switched from Hizb to Al-Badr outfit

“He was a senior militant and had crossed over to Pakistan in 2000. He returned in 2002 and was active for five years. Police arrested him in 2007 and he was booked under PSA (Public Safety Act). In 2008, he was released. Till December 2015, he was working as OGW. In January 2018, he became active with Hizb. In 2020, he joined Al-Badr as its chief,” the officer informed.

The IGP said that Ganie Khwaja was instrumental in recruiting youth into his outfit. He would also receive new militant groups in north Kashmir and also help them to reach south Kashmir districts. He would provide logistic support to militants and his killing is a big success for police and security forces,” the IGP further said.

From the possession of slain Khwaja, one AK-47 rifle, five magazines, two grenades and other incriminating material was recovered.

J&K Police busted two militant modules in Pulwama

The IGP Kashmir revealed that Police in Awantipora achieved a major success by busting two militant modules of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) by arresting seven new militant recruits including a college student, who were planning IED and Fidayeen attacks in south Kashmir.

“Awantipora Police foiled a bid wherein Jaish module was planning to carry out vehicle based IED. We arrested a B.A 1st Year student, who was motivated through social media applications (Sahil Nazir of Pampore). After interrogating him, four more youth were arrested. A vehicle bearing number JK-O1E 0690 was also recovered that was supposed to be used for carrying out a car bomb,” he said.

During the interrogation, Sahil confessed that they were supposed carry out a vehicle based IED with the help of an OGW from north Kashmir.

In another success, the IGP said that a Lashkar module headed by Lashkar militant Umar Khanday, who was involved in Baghat, Srinagar attack, had persuaded one Musaib Ahmed from Pampore.

“We arrested Musaib and he revealed that at his home there was a container carrying 25 kilograms of ammonium power that was supposed to be used as IED. During his interrogation, he revealed that the remaining material was supposed to reach from north Kashmir. On his lead, one more youth Shahid Sofi was also arrested. They were planning an explosion at MC building Pampore. In total, seven new militant recruits were arrested in two modules that stand busted,” he said, adding that further investigation is on.

“These youth were motivated through social media networks and handles from across (the LoC),” the IGP said.

He said militants are changing their strategy to attack forces. “We are alert and plugging the loopholes after conducting security reviews on regular basis,” he said.

Alert sounded after inputs about Lashkar (TRF) chief in Srinagar

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that J&K Police received a tip-off about the presence of Lashkar-e-Toiba (TRF) chief Abbas in Chanapora area of Srinagar after which an alert was sounded.

“We received inputs about Lashkar (TRF) chief Abbas’s presence in the Chanapora area of Srinagar. An alert has been sounded and active vigil is being maintained,” IGP Kashmir told the press conference at Srinagar.

He said frisking has been intensified and all means of intelligence are in active mode.

“Stone pelting will not be tolerated”

The IGP Kumar also said that stone pelting will not be tolerated at any cost, stating that 39 youth who indulged in creating law and order issues in Srinagar have been arrested of which 15 will be slapped with PSA.

Replying to a query from a media person during the presser, the IGP said, “Let me clarify that we will not allow stone pelting at any cost. We have arrested 39 stone pelters who indulged in stone pelting in Srinagar recently. 15 of them will be booked under PSA.”

To a query about Lawaypora, Srinagar encounter in which three ‘militants were killed’, he said, “Police have evidence, both technical and human and the same will be produced before the Court soon.”

It is pertinent to mention that the families of the trio killed in Lawaypora had contested police claims, saying that their kin “were innocent civilians and not militants.”

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This story is part of an exclusive series. It is not for reproduction.

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