Security forces have made a major breakthrough as they have identified the alleged owner of the explosives-laden car that was intercepted by forces on Wednesday evening averting a Pulwama-style car bombing.
A top police officer said the Santro car is owned by an active militant from south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
“Investigations have found the car belongs to Hidayatullah Malik, an active Hizbul Mujahideen militant who is a resident of Sharatpora Shopian. He had joined militant ranks in July last year and a hunt is on to trace him,” the officer said. “The investigation in the case is on and we will trace the entire network involved in the conspiracy.”
Security forces foiled a Pulwama-style car bombing when it intercepted a car fitted with 40 kg- 45 kg explosives at Rajpora in South Kashmir on Wednesday evening. A bomb disposal squad defused the explosive on Thursday morning.
The car, police said, had a fake registration plate. The registration number used belonged to a two-wheeler in Kathua district.
Police said it was a joint operation of Hizb and Jaish-e-Mohammad.
“A local militant, Adil, who is with Hizb but also works with JeM, a Pakistani militant Fauji bhai of Jaish and IED expert Walid bhai, are involved in making and planning this,” the officer said.
The Army on Thursday evening said the neutralization of this vehicle-based IED had averted a major Fidayeen attack on the security forces.
“Operations will be intensified in the coming days to deny any opportunity to terrorists for staging such dastardly attacks,” an Army statement said, adding “Post-elimination of the top leadership of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, there have been regular inputs of the terror outfits planning an attack on security forces.”
While the exact target of the car bomb is not known, security officials said the militants could target a camp, a moving vehicle or a convoy, a naka or a patrolling party of the forces in the area.