SMHS Shootout: Exercised restraint to avoid civilian killing : Police


SRINAGAR: Two days after Lashkar-e-Taiba incarcerated militant Naveed Ahmed Jhat alias Abu Hunzala escaped from a hospital where police had brought him for check up, the Jammu and Kashmir police on Thursday arrested four people involved in the escape act.

While addressing a press conference here in Srinagar, ADGP Muneer Khan, who is also serving as IGP Kashmir said that the case was cracked within four hours and two militants were arrested.

He said, “We have arrested three militants and an OGW involved in this act who include Shakil Ahmed, Tika Khan and Syed Tajamul alias Rahil Kachroo. The OGW has been identified as Muhammad Shafi, who provided vehicle and a bike to ensure escape of Naveed,” ADGP Khan said.

“The SIT started probe and on the basis of scientific evidence, we ascertained who were involved. They were identified. Raids were conducted,” he said, adding, “After their arrest, we are left with Naveed and another militant, who are still at large.”

The ADGP said that one of the Hizbul Mujahideen militants Hilal Rather also participated in the act and “he is the one who provided pistol to Naveed and both fired at two cops, resulting in their death later.”

Hilal is facing two FIRs and is the one at large still besides Naveed,  Khan said.  “We are hopeful to crack the case fully and arrest rest of the OGWs or militants including Naveed soon,” he said.

Responding to a query, Muneer Khan said, “It is not like ‘you couldn’t catch them, they overtook us,’ no! Appreciate officers’ efforts who cracked case in limited time. We could have fired in hospital but we would have killed civilians. We are police officers, not terrorists. We don’t believe in killing innocents, they do.”

Responding to question about the viral photograph of escaped militant, Munir Khan said: “I don’t look at these pictures because this case requires professional investigation. I will not comment on anything that is not confirmed.”

“Due to the firing we lost two of our officials and in this process this Pakistani militant managed to escape. Immediately after the incident a SIT was constituted to inspect all the aspects of this escape,” he added.

Munir Khan said that the militants have played their wit and, “we will also play our wit.” (CNS)