The Delhi Police’s Special Cell has arrested two suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists from southeast Delhi’s Sarai Kale Khan area who wanted to cross the border to Pakistan, officials said on Tuesday.
Abdul Latif Mir (22), a resident of Doru village in Baramulla district, and Mohd Ashraf Khatana (20), a resident of Hat Mulla village in Kupwara district, were nabbed on Monday night, they said.
Ashraf was studying at a madarsa in Sopore where he came in contact with Abdul, a police officer said.
He claimed that the two are “highly radicalized” and they planned to cross the border to Pakistan for training.
According to the police, the two had tried to cross the border several times from Kupwara and Keran sector of Jammu and Kashmir along with a few others but had failed due to tight vigil at the Line of Control (LoC).
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav said they got a tip- off that a group of newly recruited terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammed would be coming to Delhi for their onward journey to Uttar Pradesh where they were seeking basic terror training.
“On the basis of the information received, manual surveillance was mounted and a trap laid near Millennium Park, Sarai Kale Khan. The two suspected terrorists, who are residents of Jammu and Kashmir, were apprehended around 10.15 pm,” he said.
From Sarai Kale Khan, the two were supposed to go to Nizamuddin area and stay for a short period in Delhi for their onward journey to UP for the purpose of training, he added.
Two semi-automatic pistols along with 10 live cartridges were recovered from them, the DCP said.
The police said the two men were part of “Deobandi” faction of the community and considered the leader of Jaish-e-Mohd, Maulana Masood Azhar, as their role model.
One of them, Abdul Latif Mir, had a Facebook account with the name Mir Latif and a display picture of Azhar. He used to listen Azhar on social media and wanted to join the cause for the freedom of Jammu and Kashmir and spread Islam all over the world.
He followed media coverage of brutality on Muslims across the world and also listened to lectures delivered in Deobandi. He found the inspiration for jihad through these lectures and gradually got radicalized to the point that he was ready to take extreme measures for the “freedom of Kashmir”, the officer said.
“During interrogation, the police found that around four months ago, through Facebook Messenger, Abdul Latif Mir came in contact with Aftab Malik, who is resident of Lahore in Pakistan. Aftab sought his number and called him through WhatsApp and asked him about his display picture on Facebook.
“He told him that he worships the JeM leader and according to him, he has done a lot for the freedom of Kashmir and is continuously fighting against the Indian security forces. He also delivers inspirational lectures for the freedom of Kashmir,” he said.
The officer said that Abdul requested Aftab to give him a chance to join Azhar and the cause of jihad. When Aftab asked him to come to Pakistan to join the outfit, Abdul told him that he and his friend Ashraf had tried to enter Pakistan through Kupwara border but failed due to tight vigil at LoC by the security forces.
However, later, they came in contact with Pakistan-based JeM operatives through Aftab Malik who said he could help them cross the border, he said.
“The two were directed to come to Delhi where they would meet someone who would help them stay a short while in UP for basic training and arrange their crossover to Pakistan. The arms and ammunition seized from them were procured from one of their associates who was with them during their unsuccessful attempt to cross over to PoK from Kupwara,” DCP Yadav said.
Incriminating material in the form of audio, video files and literature was found in their mobile phones. The same is being analyzed, the police said, adding their contacts in Delhi are being identified and their associates in Jammu and Kashmir being ascertained.
The police have also recovered two android mobile phones, Aadhaar card, two debit cards, ID cards, including voter ID, and two bags containing their clothes.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)