Deeptiman Tiwary, Bharti Jain & Sanjay Khajuria
Only the second Pakistani terrorist after Kasab to have been caught alive, he acknowledged his nationality as well as membership of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the most loyal of ISI’s stable of terror gangs, confirming yet again the outfit’s plan to bleed India by unleashing young but intensely motivated jihadis.
Even more damningly for Pakistan, Naved was cap tured just a day after the head of Pakistan’s 2611 probe confirmed that the Mumbai strike was planned and launched from that country .
Naved cheerfully smiled for TV cameras and appeared relaxed, but his words were chilling. He said he was from Ghulam Mohammadabad near Faisalabad in Pakistan. “We’re here to kill and only kill. We were here to kill Hindus,“ he said matter-of-factly.“We worked for the cause of Allah… Had you not caught us, you would have known what we would have done.“
He claimed that he wanted to avenge the “relentless killing“ of Kashmiris. “Had I been killed, it would have been Allah’s doing. There is fun in doing this,“ he said.
Naved had taken three residents of a border village in Udhampur -Rajesh Kumar, Rajesh Sharma and Vikramjeet -hostage after attacking a BSF bus on the SrinagarJammu national highway near Udhampur.
Two BSF jawans were killed in the ambush while 12 were wounded.
The terrorist accompanying Naved, Momin Khan, from Bahawalpur in Punjab province of Pakistan, was killed in retaliatory fire by BSF jawans when he tried to forcibly enter their bus.
Taking advantage of a weak moment when Naved stopped to eat, the hostages overpowered and disarmed him and held on to him until security forces reached them.
The high degree of Naved’s motivation was evident from the precision with which he coordinated the attack with Momin. While Momin flagged down the BSF bus, opening fire immediately , Naved launched an assault with his Kalashnikov from a nearby hill, inflicting fatal injuries on two of the BSF troopers.
This was the first terror attack in a decade’s time near Udhampur, a strategic city where the northern command of the Army is headquartered. Coming just nine days after the attack on Gur daspur in Punjab, it marked strong evidence of the ISI and its gangs expanding the arc of terror to new territories. Authorities were relieved that the jihadi duo had missed a bus carrying Amarnath yatris which passed the attack site just a while ago.
Unlike the BSF jawans who were armed, the pilgrims would have been sitting ducks. Any jihadi attack on them would also be fraught with risk of inflaming communal passions. The national highway is a popular route with the yatris who travel to Amarnath for a glimpse of the icy Shivling during the Hindu month of Shravan( July-August).Naved, who identified his father as Yaqub, appears to come from what can be called a regular background. One of his brothers teaches at the Government College University in Faisalabad, while another runs a hosiery business: a stark contrast the desperate poverty Kasab was born into.
His arrest happened in the most unlikely circumstance.Trying to escape after having lost his associate, Naved held the three villagers hostage asking them to take him to a safe place where he could hide until he got the opportunity to cross over. According to the account of his hostages, after sometime, he felt hun gry and sat down to eat, unwittingly lowering his guard in the process. Rajesh Kumar, one of the three villagers, sensed an opportunity and held him by the neck while another took away his gun.
Later, Rajesh Kumar told TV channels that they had misled Naved from the beginning. “Keeping me at his gun point, he asked me to take him to a place where nobody could see him. However, instead of following his order, we misled him.“
According to preliminary interrogation details, which are still being verified by intelligence agencies, Naved entered J&K around 40 days back along with Momin and two other jihadis after breaching the fence on LoC in Bandipora.
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