Shortly after Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander, Jat alias Abu Hanzulla escaped police custody, a video featuring him along with local Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander and five other militants has surfaced recently. Though nothing has been zeroed on the location of the video but as per sources, Jat had escaped to South of Kashmir where he is believed to have been active. Because of his “knowledge of the area and contacts with overground workers, ” South Kashmir could be his probable location. Director General of Police, SP Vaid said that HM and Lashkar might have collaborated. The police is of the opinion that Jat has joined HM since LeT has not named a commander since the death of commanders Abu Qasim, Abu Dujana and Abu Ismail. Police suspect Jat to be named as the next LeT commander which is why his escape was planned.
Two Jammu and Kashmir police personnel accompanying Jat to Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital were killed after militants opened fire inside the hospital on February 6. This helped him escape from the clutches of the police. Since then, NIA has taken over the investigation. The video which emerged on Friday shows him embracing wanted militant HM commander Sameer Tiger and five other armed men. Though the police tracked down Jat to Kakapora in Pulwama shortly after the escape, but once again he managed to flee before the police arrived.
Just two days past his release, photos of Jat with Hizbul Mujahideen militant Saddam Padder surfaced. According to police, it was Jat who was responsible for a number of attack on security personnel and police which included the killing of a police officer and a CRPF personnel in Pulwama and Shopian in 2013. Post his escape, ‘high-value prisoners’ were shifted to other jails across the state and an order was also issued by the state police restricting inmates in need of special medical care to police hospitals only.