Top Al-Badr commander arrested in Kashmir Valley (Lead)

August 23rd, 2009 - 10:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Aug 23 (IANS) Police in Kashmir Sunday claimed a major success with the arrest of a top functionary of the Al-Badr guerrilla group from north Kashmir’s Sopore town.
Zeenat-ul-Islam Shah, son of a local clergy, Gulam Hassan Shah, and resident of Sugan village in north Kashmir’s Shopian district, was the chief commander of Al-Badr group and going under the codename Zahid.

“He had taken over the reins of the outfit five years back from a foreign militant code-named Major Abdullah,” a senior police officer told IANS here.

Zahid had received training from a Pakistani militant named Sikander, the police officer said, adding that Zahid had been directly involved in the kidnapping and killing of two local policemen in 2008.

“In Shopian district, he operated jointly with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit. He was an expert in ambush and stand-off operations. He had masterminded and carried out many terrorist actions against the security forces in north Kashmir’s Lolab area and then moved to Shopian,” the officer said.

“Zahid had come to Sopore a few days back and today (Sunday), we arrested him without a fight. A laptop and many incriminating documents were recovered from his possession. He is reported to have recruited a few boys for his outfit from Sopore area,” the police officer said.

Zahid was reporting directly to Yusuf Baloch, the Pakistan based head of the outfit, according to the police here.

Police expect many important disclosures from Zahid during his interrogation.

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