Srinagar: Addressing a media conference, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Muneer Ahmad Khan, on Sunday, said that the July 10 attack on a bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims in Batengo area of Srinagar-Jammu highway which left eight pilgrims dead was carried out by Lashkar e Taiba.
However on July 11, the militant outfit, in a statement to Kashmir based news agency GNS called the attack on pilgrims a ‘highly reprehensible act’.
LeT spokesman Dr Abdullah Ghaznavi in a statement said, “The attack on Amarnath pilgrims is a highly reprehensible act. Islam does not allow violence against any faith. We strongly condemn such acts,” he said.
“Happy to tell you that three accused persons have been arrested and they have revealed everything. LeT was involved, and the accused were identified,” the IGP said, adding that it would not be right to call the arrested persons as OWGs (over-ground workers) since they were rather MWWs (militants without weapons).
According to a police statement, “During the investigation three (03) accused persons have been arrested so far. These accused persons are:
A). Bilal Ahmad Reshi (Shopkeeper) of Iqbal Mohalla Bijbehara.
B).Aijaz Ahmad Wagay (Med. Rep.)of Poshkreeri, Sirigufwara.
C). Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh (Adhoc SRTC Driver) of Khudwani.”
Khan said the attack was initially planned for July 9, but that day, there was no movement of any Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) or vehicle carrying pilgrims in isolation.
“Ismail, a Pakistani militant of LeT, along with two other Pakistan militants and a local LeT militant carried out the attack.
“Accused persons who provided them logistic support to carry out their plans in the state and work as their guides have been identified,” he said.
The attackers had usedm code words ‘Shaukat’ for a vehicle carrying yatris, and ‘Bilal’ for a CRPF vehicle, he said.
The IGP said two Lashkar militants were killed few days ago and their involvement in this particular case is still being investigated.