Three Kashmiri students have been arrested from Punjab for alleged terror links with Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). According to a report in The Indian Express, the three were taken into custody from the hostel of an engineering college in Shahpur near Jalandhar in Punjab on Wednesday. Police said that arms and ammunition were also seized from their possession.
The IE report said that a joint operation was launched by the Punjab Police and Jammu and Kashmir Police Special Operations Group after receiving a tip-opp. Police said that the arrested students are in their early 20s and they were taken into custody from the hostel of the CT Institute of Engineering, Management and Technology in Shahpur.
The three have been identified as Zahid Gulzar, Yusuf Rafiq Bhatt and Mohammad Idriss Shah. Jalandhar Police Commissioner Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said that all are from Kashmir. While Zahid is a resident of Rajpora, Yusuf and Shah hail from Pulwama. The recovered arms and ammunition include an AK-47, a pistol and explosives.
“A joint team conducted a raid at the hostel early this morning, from where an AK-47, a pistol, ammunition and explosives were recovered from the room of Zahid Gulzar,” Bhullar said.
The official said that both Zahid and Yusuf are B.Tech students at whereas Idriss is doing his B.Sc. from the St. Soldier Management and Technical Institute in Jalandhar. He added that Yusuf is the cousin of terrorist Zakir Musa.
CT Group Chairman Charanjit Singh Channi said that a call was received from police on Tuesday night and officials requested us for cooperation and support. “Last night, around 11 pm, the police authorities called us… When we reached the campus, police asked us to stay near the reception area and let them do their job. After nabbing two Kashmiri students of B.Tech. stream and their guest from hostel room number 94, they covered their faces,” Channi said.
Bhullar said that police officials are probing how the students managed to take weapons into the institute.
Earlier in April, another Kashmiri student from St. Soldier Management and Technical Institute in Jalandhar was arrested by police.
Meanwhile, Punjab police claimed that with the arrest of these three students, they have also busted a module of terror outfit Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH). DGP Suresh Arora said that the development points to the efforts of Pakistan’s notorious spy agency ISI to expand the arc of militancy on the western border.