Lal Chowk Grenade blast: Ex-PDP legislator’s nephew, NEET aspirant, class 12 student arrested

Trio were associated with Jaish, were using internet through VPN to watch provocative speeches of Azhar Masood, NEET aspirant, his friend were staying at Rajbagh for coaching purpose, big jolt for Jaish in Sgr: SSP Srinagar
Srinagar, Feb 07: Jammu and Kashmir police on Friday claimed to have busted a three-member Jaish-e-Muhammad module including a nephew of former PDP MLA and National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) aspirant , who were involved in a grenade throwing incident at the heart of city—Lal Chowk recently.

According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), while addressing a press conference at police station Kothibagh here, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar Dr Haseeb Mughal said that in just four days they busted the module that was involved in the grenade throwing incident at Pratap Park, Lal Chowk, Srinagar.

“We arrested one Shakeel Ahmed Bandh, who is the nephew of former PDP legislator Muhammad Khalil Bandh. Shakeel was staying with Bandh at his official residence at Tulsi Bagh Srinagar for the past three years,” said SSP, who was flanked by police and CRPF officers. “Two more arrests were made. They were identified as Naveedul Lateef and Shamshad Manzoor. Naveed was staying at Rajbagh as he was pursuing NEET. Both Naveed and Shamad are from Pulwama district.”

The SSP said that Naveed was influenced by Shakeel so was his friend Shamshad. “On the directions of Shakeel, Naveed and Shakeel agreed to lob a grenade and decided to go for a toss. Naveed won the toss and lobbed grenade at Pratap Park in which seven civilians and a two CRPF men got injured.” He said that the trio were watching speeches of JeM chief Azhar Masood’s provocative speeches. “They were using internet through VPNs,” he said.

Both had done the recee of the area earlier and waited for the time when CRPF men were having lunch.

“We investigated the case after registering an FIR and started jointly probe along with the CRPF. Many raids were carried and CCTV camera help was also sought to nab the attackers,” he said.

As per KNO, the SSP said that during investigations it was learnt that trio had been behind the incident. “They had established their links with the militants across the LoC in Pakistan using the internet and VPN. On the direction of a Pakistani militant Shaheen, they were extending the militant networks in Kashmir,” the SSP said. He said that Shakeel was in touch with Pakistani militant Shaheen and sought the assistance of locals—Naveed and Shamshad for carrying out an attack in Srinagar.

“The trio conspired to carry out attack in Srinagar and obtained grenades from a local militant associate in Srinagar. As planned, on February 2, they lobbed a grenade at Pratap Park,” he said. “The purpose of the attack was to disrupt the normal life activities in Lal Chowk.” The arrest of trio, SSP said has given a major jolt to JeM.