A terrorist linked to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba has been arrested in the twin bus blast case that took place on September 28 and 29 in the Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir, said police.
The accused has been identified as Mohamad Aslam Sheikh who confessed that he had placed the IEDs in both the buses at Bus stand Ramnagar, on September 28 at around 3 pm on the direction of his Pakistani handler Mohammed Amin Bhat alias Khubaib, who is a resident of Pakistan's Doda. Notably, two blasts had taken place in parked buses, one at Baigra Petrol pump near Domail Chowk and the other at an old bus stand in Udhampur.
Addressing a press conference, Additional Director General of Police Jammu Mukesh Singh said that during the course of the investigation, some suspects of the area were rounded up and put to sustained questioning to get any clues regarding the blast.
"Mohamad Amin Bhat is involved in these blasts. He is settled in Pakistan. He contacted a terrorist named Aslam Seikh through social media apps and provided him 3 sticky bombs and 4 new IEDs through a drone."
He further said that five IEDs including three sticky bombs have been recovered.
Suspect Mohammed Aslam was in contact with a Pakistan-based handler for quite some time.
He was motivated by the handler to receive some consignment from near the international border (Samba Kathua axis) who also promised him some monetary benefits.
"On September 23, as per the direction of the handler, the suspect received a consignment from the Dayala Chak area and took it to his home on September 24. Further, he kept the said consignment at his home," the ADGP said.
He further said that on September 28 again on the direction of handler Khubaib, the suspect took two IEDs to the Ramnagar bus stand, activated and kept one each in the side cabin of Udhampur bound buses, and returned back.
"On Sept 27, Mohammad Amin Bhat ordered him to plant bombs at suitable locations before a high-profile ministerial visit. He activated two IEDs and placed them in two buses. In one bus he set a timer of 7 hours and in the other, he set a timer of 14 hours," said ADGP Singh.
On the disclosure of the suspect, some recoveries have also been made from his home, which includes 02 No. of IEDs, 03 number of sticky IEDs, 05 numbers of detonators, 02 No. of. Timer devices (PTD) and 04 number of dry batteries.
The accused has been arrested in the case and an FIR has been registered at police station Udhampur and further investigation is going on.
Pertinently accused Mohammed Aslam Sheikh is a surrendered terrorist of HM outfit and is also involved in two other cases.
Handler terrorist Amin Bhat was also the mastermind of the sticky bomb blast which took place on March 9, 2022, at Slathia Chowk, Udhampur in which one person lost his life while the other 13 got injured in the said blast.
"We have arrested the accused and he has confessed. Earlier, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit, two Jaish terrorists were neutralised due to the alertness of the police and their module was destroyed. This time it's a Lashkar module and police arrested the accused," said DGP Dilbagh Singh.
The Additional Director General of Police also revealed that while investigating the Udhampur bomb blasts, another module linked to Jaish was also unearthed and a terrorist has also been arrested.
"With this module, a Jaish module was also linked and a person namely Zakir Hussian has been arrested and one sticky bomb has been recovered," ADGP Jammu added.
Two blasts rocked Udhampur within 8 hours of each other. Two people were injured in the first blast that happened at 10:30 pm on Wednesday in the Domali Chowk. The injured were admitted to the Udhampur District Hospital. The blast damaged vehicles parked nearby. (ANI)