An A++ category terrorist of the Hizbul Mujahideen, who carried a bounty of Rs 10 lakh for his involvement in a series of terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, has been arrested by Delhi Police’s Special Cell in coordination with other central agencies, the police said on Thursday.
The arrested terrorist has been identified as Javeed Ahmed Mattoo (32), a.k.a. Irsad Ahmed Malla alias Ehsan, who hails from Sopore in J&K’s Baramulla district. He was allegedly involved in five grenade attacks in the Valley.
Mattoo, categorised as an A++, had been evading arrest for the past 13 years. He was wanted in connection with 11 known terror attacks in J&K.
According to the Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell), H.G.S. Dhaliwal, the arrest was made possible through coordinated efforts with the central agencies.
“Sometime back, a tip-off was received saying that Mattoo would be arriving in the National Capital Region (NCR) to collect arms and ammunition. The Special Cell then activated its sleeper cells,” said Dhaliwal.
On Thursday, a specific information was received that Mattoo is in Delhi to acquire weapons at the behest of the Pakistan ISI, with plans to execute terror strikes in J&K and another location.
“Acting on this precise input, a raiding team successfully apprehended Mattoo from the Nizamuddin area, and seized a 9 mm pistol, six live cartridges, an extra magazine, and a stolen Santro car from his possession. A case has been registered at the Special Cell police station,” the officer said.
The Special CP said that Mattoo was part of a notorious gang of seven terrorists associated with the Hizbul Mujahideen, operating primarily in North Kashmir, particularly in Sopore.
The officer said Mattoo’s Pakistan-based handler would coordinate the delivery of arms and ammunition, and Mattoo would carry out terror strikes in J&K.
“He is the lone surviving A++ category terrorist based out of J&K. He had earlier gone into hiding after escaping to Nepal on the directions of the ISI. The J&K police were actively pursuing him,” the officer said.
The Special CP also revealed that Mattoo was shot at a decade ago by security forces during an encounter, resulting in a bullet injury on his leg.
“This had impacted his ability to directly engage in attacks against security forces, as he used to before the incident,” the officer said.
Mattoo’s other six associates have been identified as Abdul Majid Jarger (currently in Pakistan), Abdul Qayyum Nazar (killed in a clash with security forces), Tarik Ahmed Lone (reportedly drowned while attempting to evade arrest), Imtiyaz Kundu (fled to Pakistan in 2015-16), Mehraj Halwai (killed in an encounter with the security forces), and Waseem Guru (killed in an exchange of fire with security forces).
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)