A day after two Kashmir-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives Aamir Hussain Wani and Wasim Hassan Wani were caught trying to smuggle weapons into the Valley to carry out terror attacks, the Punjab Police on Friday arrested their third accomplice while he was trying to flee to Kashmir.

The third suspected LeT militant has been identified as Javed Ahmed Bhat (29), a resident of Shirmal village in Shopian (Kashmir). He was intercepted and apprehended, along with his truck bearing registration No. JK-22-8711, from Dhobra Bridge, Pathankot, on Amritsar-Jammu Highway by Pathankot Police, as he was trying to escape to the Valley on learning about the arrest of his accomplices.

According to Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta, Javed hails from the same village as the other two LeT operatives, and is their childhood friend.

The trio had been doing transport business together for the past over two to three years, and had been making trips to Delhi, Amritsar and Jalandhar.

Brother of a homeguard Arif Ahmed Bhat, Javed himself was selected by the unit in 2012 but had left the job subsequently.

Initial questioning of Javed has revealed that he had come with the other Aamir and Wasim from the Kashmi Valley to Amritsar to collect the weapons consignment in the guise of bringing fruits and vegetables.

They came in two trucks and, after picking up the consignment from near Vallah Road, on 11June , Aamir and Wasim had asked Javed to stay behind in Amritsar to contact the weapons supplier on the directions of their handler, Ishfaq Ahmed Dar alias Bashir Ahmed Khan of LeT.

Further investigation is in progress to identify further links and associates of the three men in Punjab and Kashmir, said DGP, pointing out that these arrests indicated widespread terror network backed by Pakistan-based militants.

They further corroborated recent intelligence inputs indicating that Pak ISI has been pushing weapon consignments and infiltrating militants from across the border into Punjab, and further to Kashmir valley for carrying out terror activities.

Earlier, on 25 April, 2020, Punjab Police had arrested another Kashmir- based youth, Hilal Ahmed Wagay, who had come to collect drug money from Amritsar, on the instructions of slain Hizbul Mujahadeen commander Riaz Ahmed Naikoo. In that case also, Hilal Ahmed had used a truck for ferrying the drug money.