Shah killing: Three suspects arrested in J&K

Jamiat-e-Ahli Hadees president Moulvi Showkat Ahmad Shah was killed in a blast last week.

Last Updated: Apr 16, 2011, 18:36 PM IST

Srinagar: In a major breakthrough, police
on Saturday arrested three persons in connection with the killing of
Jamiat-e-Ahli Hadees president Moulvi Showkat Ahmad Shah in a
blast last week.

The arrested persons have been identified as Abdul Ghani
Dar alias Abdullah Ghazali, President of `Sautul Haq` (the
voice of truth), a radical politico-religious outfit and two
others -- Javed Ahmad Munshi and Nisar Ahmad Khan.
Shah was killed in an IED blast on April 8 as he was
entering a mosque in Maisuma area of the city to lead Friday
prayers.

The breakthrough was achieved after State intelligence
worked on some clues gathered from the scene and zeroed in on
the accused. The information was passed on to state police,
which carried out the arrests.

`Sautul Haq` is a group of radical elements and many of
them are also members of the Jamiat-e-Ahli Hadees.

"Members of the radical outfit and some other radical
elements have been found to be behind the conspiracy (to kill
Shah). It was an attempt by these elements to take control of
Jamiat-e-Ahli Hadees," Kashmir Inspector General of Police S M
Sahai told reporters here.
He said Ghazali had discussed the broad contours of the
plan with Ashiq Hussain Faktoo alias Dr Qasim, husband of
Asiya Indrabi -- chief of radical women`s outfit
Dukhtaran-e-Millat.

Faktoo is currently lodged in central jail here and the
plan was discussed during a visit paid by Ghazali to him.

The IGP said Jameel-ur-Rehman, General Secretary of
United Jehad Council -- a PoK-based amalgam of militant
outfits -- was also in touch with the conspirators.

"The actual execution of the plan was left to Munshi
alias Billa Papa, who had sought help of Lashkar-e-Toiba
commander Abdullah Uni," Sahai said.

He said Munshi received some materials used in the IED
from the Lashkar commander and got other parts locally.

"The actual triggering of the blast was entrusted to
Khan alias Ishaq," he said.

Munshi, a former militant, was trying to revive the
Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen outfit in the Valley.

Shah was perceived as against sectarianism and his work
in education sector was seen as a compromise.

"When they failed to dislodge him through
(organisational) elections, a conspiracy was hatched to
eliminate him in 2010," Sahai said, adding Shah`s proximity to
certain separatist leaders was not liked by radical elements.

Shah had developed close association with JKLF Chairman
Mohammad Yasin Malik and was seen as a peacenik.

For the first time in two decades of militancy,
mainstream politicians, including BJP national leaders,
visited the family of a slain separatist leader and did not
face any resistance from the people present there.

Among those who had visited Shah`s residence were Chief
Minister Omar Abdullah, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, former
BJP president Rajnath Singh, party spokesperson Ravi Shankar
Prasad and Shahnawaz Hussain.

PTI