Lucknow, February 22: A week after the heinous terror strike in Jammu & Kashmir's Pulwama by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), at least two suspected members of the dreaded terror have been nabbed in Deoband town of Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district. The accused have been identified as Shahnawaz and Aqib, natives of J&K's Kulgam and Pulwama, respectively.
The arrests were made by the UP Anti-Terrorism Squad, which launched a raid in Deoband in the early hours of Friday. Although the crackdown appeared to be linked to the Pulwama attack, Uttar Pradesh DGO O P Singh said it could not be confirmed whether they could be linked with the February 14 strike. UNSC Statement Condemns Pulwama Terror Attack; Names Jaish, Skips Masood Azhar.
"Yesterday after inputs two suspected terrorists were caught from Saharanpur by our ATS wing. They are linked to JeM and both are from Kashmir. Shahnawaz is from Kulgam and Aqib is from Pulwama. Two weapons and live cartridges seized," the DGP said.
"Of the two Shahnawaz is said to be a grenade expert. We will seek transit remand and investigate when they came here from Kashmir and who is funding them and what was their target. We are in touch with J&K Police," Singh further added.
The ATS crackdown comes a day after reports, citing top intelligence sources, claimed that the JeM is now considering to launch terror attacks in Jammu or outside J&K.
The alert was sounded based on the inputs received from several agencies. Intercepts of phone conversations between the Pakistan-based terror handlers and their operatives in Kashmir revealed that the group is emboldened with the "success" of Pulwama attack, and is planning to execute more such attacks in the near future.
Intel agencies' sources have also indicated that the Jaish is considering to release a third video claiming responsibility for the Pulwama attack. The clip, they claimed, could be intended to glorify militant Adil Ahmed Dar -- in a bid to encourage more disgruntled Kashmiri youth to pick up the gun.
Meanwhile, India secured a diplomatic victory on Thursday as the United Nations Security Council - which includes China - issued a strongly-worded statement against Jaish-e-Mohammed for its role in the Pulwama attack. In what could be seen as a directive to Pakistan, the UNSC has asked all nations in the South Asian region to crackdown on perpetrators of the gruesome terror attack present on their soil.