Two alleged Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists posing as students and involved in recruiting for the group have been arrested from Deoband in Saharanpur district, Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police O P Singh said on Friday.
Shahnawaz Ahmad Teli from Kulgam and Aquib Ahmad Malik from Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir were arrested from the seminary town on Thursday night and .32 bore pistols along with cartridges recovered from them, Singh told reporters.
The operation was headed by Inspector General Anti-Terrorist Squad Asim Arun.
Teli and Malik, aged between 20-25 years, were living in Deoband and posing as students without taking admission anywhere, Singh said.
They were on their job to recruit for the JeM, which has claimed responsibility for the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force soldiers were killed, he said.
Giving details of the operation, Singh said the ATS got a tip-off about the two from an alert student after which a probe was started. The two men were arrested following surveillance.
“ATS recovered a .32 bore pistol from each of them with cartridges. Jihadi chats, videos and photos were also recovered. These are being investigated,” the director general of police said, adding that they will be brought to Lucknow on transit remand.
Asked whether the two men were involved in the Pulwama terror attack, Singh said, “It’s difficult to tell whether they came here before the Pulwama attack or after that. The probe is on.”
“Both are being interrogated on when they arrived from Kashmir... how many other members are involved, have they succeeded in recruiting anyone in JeM, from where did they get funding and how much, what was their target after recruitment,” the DGP said.
He said Jammu and Kashmir police supported the entire operation and the two forces will coordinate with each other in the future too.