Srinagar: Security forces have arrested five Harkatul Mujahideen millitants, who had planned to carry out IED blasts and firing at busy markets of Baramulla, police said on Saturday.
"Acting on intelligence input, a joint operation was conducted by Police and 52 Rashtriya Rifles of the army in Sangrama area of Baramulla district yesterday.
"During the operation, two militants -- Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi alias Umer and Aijaz Ahmad Gojri alias Chota Kalimullah -- were arrested," a police spokesman said here.
A Chinese pistol, one pistol magazine, two hand grenades and other ammunition were recovered from their possession.
Further investigation led to the arrest of their three more associates, he said, adding the militants were identified as Danish Gaffer Gojri alias Kalimullah, Javaid Ahmad Dar and Mohammad Sameer Kandoo alias Sameer Baba.
"It came out that Danish Ahmad Gogri and Javaid Ahmad Dar joined the terrorist outfit in September 2015. After they got motivated by local terrorist Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi who was handled by Sajad Shaheen alias Sajad Afgani, a resident of Pakistan to rejuvenate the HuM terrorist outfit in the valley," the spokesman said.
He said both of them were in close touch with Sajad Afgani through social media.
"Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi was tasked to motivate youth to join the Harkatul Mujahideen outfit in the valley and as a part of which he introduced the above apprehended cadres with his another associate Mohammad Sameer Kandoo Baba operating in Srinagar city," he said.
He said Kandoo was looking for an opportunity to carry out terror attacks, particularly on police and security forces.
"Investigation further showed that on 5th November last year, Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi and Mohammad Sammer Kandoo hurled grenades on CRPF bunker Safa-Kadal, Naid-Kadal, Bilal Colony Soura and Police Station Khanyar," he added.
Sofi and Kandoo handed over two grenades to Ajaz Ahmad Gojri and Danish Gaffer in December with the directions to carry out attacks on police and security forces and VVIPs on Srinagar-Baramulla highway, the spokesman said.
They had also planned to carry out IED blasts and stand-off firing at the busy markets of Baramulla and Sopore to show the existence of the outfit, he added.