A top police officer Wednesday said that the forces were investigating the possibility of “insiders role” in the attack on its party which was escorting six prisoners to Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital (SMHS), Srinagar, including a Lashkar-e-Toiba top militant Naveed Jhatt, who escaped after killing two cops.
The investigation has already been set into motion by a Special Investigating team (SIT). The six-member SIT is headed by a senior superintendent of police (SSP) Srinagar, Javid Iqbal.
The investigation has been launched and “all the angles of the incident and the CCTV footage generated from one of the camera’s—in which some unknown persons are seen fleeing amid heavy patient-attendant rush—is also being examined.”
“The investigation is in full swing. Not only CCTV footage, there are other things also. We have got vital clues in the case,” additional director general of police Kashmir, Munir Ahmad Khan told Rising Kashmir.
The attack was carried out in a broad daylight outside the medicine department’s Out Patient Department (OPD) at SHMS when six prisoners including Naveed Jatt son of Mohd Hanief of Multan Pakistan were brought for a medical check-up at 11:30 am on Tuesday.
Naveed alias Abu Hanzullah was arrested by forces from south Kashmir’s Kulgam district in June 2014 from a hideout. At the time of his arrest he was LeT’s district commander for Shopian and close associate of outfit’s former chief Abu Qasim.
ADGP Khan said that police was investigating the possibility of “internal hand into facilitating this incident.” “We are checking the possibility of internal hand into the incident. What happened in jail and when it was planned and how weapon came into Naveed’s hand? ” Khan told Rising Kashmir.
Khan said that it was Naveed who fired—as evident from the CCTV footage—at a police party escorting prisoners to the hospital.
“Naveed himself fired on policemen. In the CCTV footage, the weapon is clearly seen in his hand while fleeing from the hospital,” he said.
Police is also ascertaining as to how the weapon—Naveed used in the incident—was handed over to him.
On whether the weapon was handed over to him in jail or somewhere else, ADGP Khan said it is a subject matter of investigation. “That is what we have to ascertain,” he said.
On whether police was questioning cops who were escorting prisoners, Khan said: “We have questioned them whatever we had to ask them.”
Hanzullah, according to sources, had infiltrated by breaching Line of Control (LoC) from across the border was operating in South Kashmir since July 7, 2012, and till his arrest in 2014. “A year before he was active in Lolab for one year before arriving in South Kashmir,” sources said.
Reports quoting former deputy inspector general of police south Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, had said that Naveed was involved in the killing of an ASI in Pulwama in 2013 and a CRPF man in Shopian. Besides that he snatched two weapons from them and killed two policemen near the District Court complex, Pulwama in 2014.
On Wednesday a voice message was circulated on Whatsapp, purportedly by Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo in which he is heard saying that “two of its men who were sent on a mission to free Naveed, were safely back.”
On whether Naikoo’s statement points out that Naveed has joined the HM, the top police officer said is very premature to comment.
“I don’t think so. We will have to see,” Khan said.