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Two accomplices of Naikoo's close associate nabbed in Amritsar

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

The Punjab police on Thursday said it has arrested two accomplices of a close associate of Riyaz Naikoo, the slain commander of banned terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.

The arrested persons have been identified as Bikram Singh and Maninder Singh, residents of Amritsar district, police said. Police also seized one kg heroin along with Rs 32 lakh cash from their possession, Director General of Police, Punjab, DinkarGupta said in a press statement.

Further investigation in the case will be carried out by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on the instructions of the Centre, the statement said.

While Rs 20 lakh in cash was recovered from them at the time of their arrest, the remaining amount and the narcotic substance were seized from their homes later following the grant of police remand by the court. Both of them are accomplices of Hilal Ahmed Wagay, a close associate of Naikoo, police said.

Hizbul Mujahideen militant Wagay, a resident of Nowgam under Avantipura police station area of Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested last month from Amritsar and Rs 29 lakh in cash was recovered from his possession.

Naikoo, commander of the banned terrorist organization Hizbul Mujahideen, was gunned down by security forces in South Kashmir on Wednesday.

DGP Gupta said Thursday's arrests were made after the duo was traced through investigations into the trail of Wagay, who had come from the Kashmir Valley to collect money from Amritsar on Naikoo's instructions.

Bikram had come on a two-wheeler to deliver Rs 29 lakh cash to Wagay on the instructions of persons identified as Ranjit Singh, Iqbal Singh and Sarwan Singh, police said.

The interrogation of the two accused further revealed that both Bikram and Maninder, along with Ranjit, Iqbal and Sarwan, allegedly deal in drugs and weapons smuggled from across-the-border.

The DGP said the police teams were looking into the trail of Ranjit, Iqbal and Sarwan whose involvement had come up during investigation.

Given the gravity of the offences and the cross-border ramifications of the case beyond Punjab, the Centre has directed the NIA to take over further investigations into the case to unravel the entire conspiracy, which has footprints leading across the border via J&K, said the release. PTI CHS VSD

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First Published: Thu, May 07 2020. 23:00 IST