In a major crackdown on Sunday, more than 900 over-ground workers (OGWs) of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Al-Badr and The Resistance Front (TRF) have been taken under detention in Kashmir. All of them were picked up by Jammu and Kashmir Police, sources told CNN-News18.
This comes after a spate of militant attacks on minority civilians in Kashmir, and sources are claiming this to be the biggest ever crackdown in the Valley. Sources further said that all the detainees are under joint interrogation of different investigating agencies, which are trying to understand and correlate the working model behind the targeted killings of minority civilians.
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OGWs are those who provide logistics support to militants. Sources in the valley had earlier told CNN-News18 that over-ground workers of the TRF, which is believed to be a front for Pakistan-based militant organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba, recently converted to main cadres to carry out targeted killings.
The TRF also claimed responsibility for the deaths of prominent Kashmiri Pandit businessman Makhan Lal Bindroo and two other civilians. Bindroo (68), the owner of Bindroo Medicate, was shot at by assailants at 7pm earlier this week from point-blank range while he was at his pharmacy, dispensing medicines, police said, adding that he was declared dead at the hospital.
A few minutes after the killing of Bindroo, militants gunned down a roadside vendor identified as Virendra Paswan, a resident of Bhagalpur in Bihar, who used to earn his livelihood by selling ‘golgappa’ and ‘bhelpuri’. Almost simultaneously, militants shot dead Mohammad Shafi Lone, president of the local taxi stand, at Naidkhai in Bandipora district of north Kashmir.
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On September 30, militants had shot at and killed two teachers of a government school in Srinagar, both members of the region’s minority Sikh and Hindu communities. The two teachers were identified as Supinder Kour, 46, a resident of Budgam, and Deepak Chand, 39, from Janipur in Jammu. They were both inside the campus of Government Boys Higher Secondary School Sangam of Eidgah in Srinagar when the incident took place.
In the last of September itself, seven civilians were killed in Kashmir, three of them from the Hindu and Sikh communities in targeted assassinations. “We can see a shift in violence patterns. They want to give a very specific message that non-Muslims and minorities will not be accepted. These terror groups have a problem with the new domicile act and new electoral process. These targets are very soft. They are those who are working in the society and for Kashmir,” a source had earlier told News18.