Acting on a tip from the
Pradesh police, a joint team of the Army and the
Kashmir police raided a safe house on the border town Handwara and killed the key suspect in the
Varanasi serial bombing. Mohammed Zubair, a
Muslim cleric and cadre of the Harkat ul-Jihad Islami (HuJI) of
Bangladesh were killed in police action. Two accomplices meant to guard him ran into the forests and escaped.
Apparently, Zubair was asked to escape to
Bengal. However, he refused that route, as he was worried that his terror network there may have been compromised by intelligence agencies.
Zubair is a friend of another
Islamic cleric Mohammed Walliullah, a criminal arrested in 2001 but let off for unknown reasons but later became the “commander” for
Pradesh. He apparently crossed the border to
Bangladesh to be trained and indoctrinated by the HuJI by yet another Islamic cleric Mohammed Assadullah. Unfortunately, the three criminals who made the bombs are still absconding.
In a related move, the Army also killed a senior Hizb ul Mujahideen known to be an expert bomb making and the suspect in most car bombs since 2004. He was the “district commander” of the terror group. He was also responsible of beheading Gujjars in 2004. Mushtaq Ahmed Bhatt, also knows as Gowhar, was known through his nom de gare, ‘Aijaz’ was trained in
Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in improvised explosive devices.
Kashmir had tremendous success in
the recent polls
where large voter turnout, economic resurgence, and disaffection for fundamentalism have turned large populations against militancy. In one incident, when a terrorist attempted to throw a grenade into a police station, voters standing in line nearby overpowered him and handed him to the police.