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A Punjab police team has been sent to Srinagar to gather information on possible "sleeper cells" of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in this state, days after Kashmir police arrested a terrorist who had stayed here, a senior official said today. The Jammu and Kashmir Police, while announcing the arrest of LeT militant Sandeep Sharma alias Adil on Tuesday, had said that he had worked in Patiala and had been roped into militancy here only by some youth from Kashmir. "We are trying to get information from Kashmir police so that we could be able to develop further on his links...
We have sent a police party to Kashmir in this regard," Patiala Superintendent of Police (detective) Harwinder Singh Virk told PTI today. He said after coming to know that Sharma had stayed in Patiala, all police stations of the district had been put on alert and asked to gather information regarding him. "Police is investigating to identify sleeper cells in parts of state, including Patiala after the arrest of Sharma," the SP said. Punjab Police will able to investigate the whereabouts of his hideouts only after getting information from Kashmir, Virk said. Sharma, who hails from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, had stayed in Patiala for over four months and had got in touch with "sleeper cells" of the terror outfit before going to Kashmir, the SP said. Sharma had come in contact with some Kashmiri youth who worked here in winters as waiters with caterers, he said. "Sharma came in contact with some mischievous Kashmiri youths here few years back," he said, adding he then "started going to Kashmir during summer season for odd jobs along with mischievous youths." According to J&K police, Sharma was arrested from the same house in Kashmir where LeT militant Bashir Lashkari was killed on July one in an encounter with security forces. Virk noted that many young men from Kashmir shift to Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and other parts of the country during winters. The Intelligence Bureau has asked Patiala police to ascertain details about Sharma's stay here. It also suggested that information about all those who have had any association with Sharma be gathered and cross checked, he said.
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