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HomeIndiaLashkar hand suspected in Rajouri attacks | India News

Lashkar hand suspected in Rajouri attacks | India News


NEW DELHI: The initial needle of suspicion in the two attacks at Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir seems to be pointing towards Lashker-e-Taiba, with sources indicating that killing of six persons, all Hindus, was aimed at creating a communal divide.
J&K Police also see the latest civilian killings as part of LeT’s larger plan to get a foothold in the Pir Panjal area, particularly in view of terrorists facing the heat in Kashmir region and local LeT commander Talib Hussain’s disclosure after his arrest in July 2022 that he was tasked by Pakistan-based LeT handlers to carry out terror recruitment in Pir Panjal districts including Rajouri.
To scuttle such designs, the J&K administration has moved in around 1,800 central para-military troops to Rajouri and Poonch to aid J&K Police in protecting minority-dominated pockets. Village defence committees (VDCs) have been asked to mount an alert and seek arms for families of which any member volunteers for VDC duty. Upgrade of arms and training of volunteers have been offered to improve the response of VDCs in Rajouri and Poonch districts.
“The entire security grid in Rajouri has been strengthened. Special operations Group (SOG) have been pressed for scaling up counter-terror operations in Jammu division” a senior J&K government official told TOI.
It is suspected that the terrorists who killed four civilians on January 1 may have freshly infiltrated from across Pakistan.
“LeT has been trying to scale up its presence in Pir Panjal for some time by targeting minorities in Rajouri. But it has so far not been successful in driving a communal wedge,” said a J&K government functionary.
A J&K Police source said that Pakistan-based jihadi terrorist outfits are frustrated at the overwhelming response and crowds received by home minister Amit Shah’s public rally in Muslim-dominated Rajouri on October 4, 2022. Shah had, while addressing the rally, announced the government’s intent to grant reservation to the Pahari community under the Scheduled Tribes category, on par with Gujjar and Bakarwal communities. “A section of Muslims may be unhappy at the traction and public support BJP seems to be getting in Rajouri. It seems LeT is trying to channelise this sentiment, by going after the ‘minority’ Hindus. Any backlash by the Hindus is bound to cause communal tension, creating conditions conducive for radicalisation and recruitment of locals for terror acts, thus fitting into LeT’s designs for Pir Panjal,” an official told TOI.
Incidentally, LeT local commander Talib Hussain, who was arrested in Tukson Dhok village of Reasi in July last year, had during his interrogation unveiled LeT’s plans to carry out terror recruitment in Pir Panjal region. Two AK-series rifles, seven grenades, one pistol and a huge cache of ammunition was recovered from the possession of Hussain and another terrorist arrested with him. Hussain was in touch with Qasim, an LeT terrorist based in Pakistan, and also Pakistani LeT handler Salman. He was involved in at least three cases of IED blasts in Rajouri district, besides civilian killings and grenade blasts.
Hussain’s arrest had created a flutter when his pictures with local BJP leaders surfaced on social media. BJP, however, had then said that he was neither active nor primary member of the party. It added that while Hussain had enrolled into BJP minority morcha in May 2022, he resigned barely 18 days later.



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