Fugitive LeT commander surfaces in video with Hizbul Mujahideen militants - watsupptoday.com
Fugitive LeT commander surfaces in video with Hizbul Mujahideen militants
Posted 03 Mar 2018 12:21 PM

Barely a month after Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander Naveed Jat alias Abu Hanzulla escaped police custody, a video has surfaced showing him with a local Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander and at least five other militants in a forest. It is unclear where the video was shot even as sources said Jat had escaped to South Kashmir where he was believed to have been active because of his “knowledge of the area and contacts with over ground workers.”

Director General of Police, SP Vaid told The Indian Express that HM and Lashkar could be working together. “They are uploading videos and trying to show that they are active,” he said.

It is believed Jat has since joined HM since LeT has not named a commander since the death of its former commanders Abu Qasim, Abu Dujana and Abu Ismail. Police had suspected Jat would be named the next LeT commander, which is why his escape was orchestrated.

On February 6, two Jammu and Kashmir police personnel accompanying Jat to the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) were killed after militants opened fire inside the hospital facilitating Jat’s escape. The NIA has since taken over the investigation into his escape.

In the video that surfaced Friday, Jat is seen hugging HM commander Sameer Tiger, a wanted militant, and five other armed militants. Police had tracked Jat down to Kakapora in Pulwama shortly after the escape, but he had managed to flee before police arrived. Two over-ground workers and two militants were arrested two days after the incident.

Pictures of Jat, who was active in South Kashmir for two years before his arrest, had surfaced with Hizbul Mujahidden militant Saddam Padder, two days after his escape. Following the incident, the Superintendent of the Srinagar Central Jail, where Jat was confined, was suspended pending an enquiry. Director General Prisons SK Mishra was transferred out and SP Pani was named the Inspector General of Police in J&K.

According to police, Jat was responsible for a number of attacks on police and security forces including the killing of a police officer and a CRPF personnel in Pulwama and Shopian (in 2013) and snatching their rifles.

After Jat escaped, ‘high-value prisoners’ were moved out from the Srinagar Central Jail to different prisons across the state and an order was issued by the state police restricting inmates in need of special medical care to police hospitals only. The prison medical staff had recommended Jat to doctors at SMHS hospital to treat “abdominal and skin issues.”

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