The arrest of self-styled chief of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Mustafa (LeM) on Saturday is a major success for the Jammu and Kashmir police, officials said.
The police said that in order to dismantle the structure of LeM, a front organisation of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the efforts of Anantnag Police led to the arrest of its self-styled chief Hidayatullah Malik alias Hasnain in Jammu city by a joint team of Anantnag police and Jammu police.
The police said the first arrest in this chain was Ayaz Bhat of Anantnag from whom one pistol was recovered on January 18. On his disclosure, two more terror associates, Rayees Mir of Pampore and Shakir Itoo of Shopian, were arrested from whose possession two grenades were recovered.
Four more terror associates hailing from Anantnag were arrested and two pistols, AK-47 rounds and hand grenades were recovered from their possession.
The police said that during further course of investigation, the arrested terror associates revealed that Hidayatullah Malik was putting up in Bathindi area of Jammu and planning a major attack in Jammu city, which is the winter capital of the Union Territory of J&K.
Accordingly, a special team of Anantnag police was constituted and deputed to Jammu to launch the operation.
The police said on Saturday that at about 3:30 pm, an operation was launched with the assistance of Jammu police at the Kunjwani area in Jammu.
"During the joint operation, the said terrorist attacked the police party and tried to escape from the spot, but the team displayed exemplary discipline and dedication to apprehend him tactfully, given that the Kunjwani area in Jammu is a very crowded place. Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition, including two pistols and grenades, have been recovered from his possession," the police said.
The police also said that Malik is one of the 10 accused in a case pertaining to the detection of a powerful car bomb which was later destroyed on the spot to avert any major mishap.
Further investigation is underway.
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