Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Police have expressed concerns over militants reportedly reviving their old method of deploying women as couriers of weapons and ammunition for them following Tuesday’s arrest of a young woman carrying grenades and bullets, according to a report by Greater Kashmir.
Citing officers, the report says that as of late, militants were finding it difficult to move along the highways due to the heightened vigil by armed forces and new checkpoints.
On Tuesday, a young unmarried woman was arrested at Lawaypora on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway after police intercepted a Tavera vehicle in which she was carrying grenades and bullets.
“She tried to leave the spot but the women police present already at the spot asked her to stop. During the search 20 grenades and 365 bullets were recovered from a bag she was carrying along,” said a police officer, wishing not to be named, as per the report.
The woman’s arrest has triggered an “in-house alert” across Kashmir by the police to keep a close watch on women suspects traveling on the highways.
Police officials say the arrested woman comes from Ganai Mohalla of Khonmoh area in the outskirts of Srinagar.
“She had received a consignment of weapons in a large quantity in Kupwara to be delivered at Srinagar,” said a police officer. “At present the woman (name withheld) is being questioned in women police station Rambagh Srinagar.”
Another officer privy to the woman’s interrogation said the ammunition seized from her was meant for militants in south Kashmir.
The officer said that though woman militants or OGWs were not new in Kashmir, the latest arrest had “thrown up new concern for the police.”
“It’s not a challenge, but a concern for us,” the police officer admitted.
Additional director general of police, Munir Khan also said the woman had received a consignment of ammunition in Kupwara and she was supposed to deliver it in Srinagar.
“She had mixed up with the militants. Investigations have revealed that she was working for the militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen as a courier. And this is not for the first time we have arrested a woman with ammunition,” Khan said. “One thing is sure, that her questioning will lead to arrests.”
According to a top police officer, a police team from Srinagar had questioned the woman’s family members.
“The father of the woman was a militant who was killed in 1992. Today (Wednesday) her two brothers were questioned,” he said, as per the report.
The last time a woman was arrested for militancy was in 2011 in Sopore. The college graduate was allegedly linked to Lashkar-e-Toiba militant group.
In July 2009, an alleged woman OGW was arrested by Doda police.
A woman militant was arrested in Handwara in September 2006.
In 2005, another woman militant set off an improvised explosive device tied to her body on a highway at Pulwama. Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group claimed she was its member.