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Arrested Pakistani militants reveal Srinagar CRPF camp attack plot

Arrested Pakistani militants reveal Srinagar CRPF camp attack plot
New Delhi The Jammu and Kashmir Police have claimed that the two Pakistani nationals arrested in connection with the fidayeen or suicide attack on the camp of the Central Reserve Police Force or CRPF have revealed the role of Pakistan-based militants.

The police said that Bashir, a surrendered militant who was arrested last night, led to Zubeer alias Talha Zarar, a resident of Multan in Pakistan. While the state police believe that Zubeer entered India along with five other men in February, central intelligence agencies say he crossed over into India alone in January. The agencies claim that there is no record of any successful infiltration attempt in the month February.

Sources in the police say Bashir helped Zubeer with logistics in the Kashmir valley. Both were arrested from Chhattabal in Srinagar on Thursday, according to the police.

They have also revealed the role of Pakistan-based terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Two terrorists were killed by the CRPF men during the attack. They have been identified by Zubeer as Haider, a resident of Shaiwal in Pakistan's Punjab province, and Saif of Dera Ghazi Khan, said sources.

According to Bashir, Saif and Haider crossed over into India after Afzal Guru was hanged in Delhi's Tihar jail for his role in December 2001 Parliament attack.

The four - Bashir, Zuber, Haider and Saif - reached Srinagar two days before the attack, on March 11, sources said. They carried a reconnaissance of the playground the next day and even bought the kit bags and cricketing uniform, they added. Bashir allegedly helped them find their way to the playground adjacent to Police Public School in Bemina area. On March 13 - the day of the attack - the four reached the playground and mingled with the boys playing cricket while they waited for the CRPF unit to fall into formation for their daily briefing. While Haider and Saif waited, Bashir and Zubeer allegedly slipped out of the venue. As soon as the CRPF unit fell into line for their briefing - presenting a concentrated target - Haider and Saif launched the attacked.

Police and security agencies are now looking for a junior level employee of the state government who allegedly housed Haider and Saif and provided logistic support to the terrorists.

The alleged confessions of Zubeer and Bashir have led the Jammu and Kashmir Police to suspect that the Wednesday's attack was in retaliation to Guru's hanging. Central security agencies, however, feel more investigation is needed before a direct connection can be made between the two.

Moreover, sources told NDTV that since last December intelligence agencies have intercepted Lashkar's several radio communication from across the border to its sympathisers within the Valley. And, in some of the radio communication intercepted in December and January, LeT handlers are heard asking their sympathisers to build capabilities to provide housing and other logistic support to terrorist who would cross over.

Central security agencies, on the contrary, feel that Wednesday's fidayeen attack, and the twin bomb blasts in Hyderabad are connected to the withdrawal of US-led International Security Assistance Force from Afghanistan in 2014. The ISI-Taliban combination, analyst feel, would gain an upper hand in Afghanistan freeing much of assets and terror infrastructure to refocus on J&K and heartland India.

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