Attack pre-planned: IGP

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Police on Friday said that last night’s fatal militant attack in which three BJP workers were killed was preplanned and carried out by two local and one Pakistani LeT and TRF militants.

Speaking to media persons at the spot of the incident, Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said the vehicle used by the militants in carrying out the attack has been seized.

“So far the involvement of two local militants from Kulgam – Abbas Sheikh and Nisar Ahmad Khanday – has come to the fore. There is also the possibility of a Pakistani militant being involved in the attack,” he said.

Sheikh, he said, was earlier associated with Hizb but later switched sides to join LeT.

The IGP said the militants came in an Alto car of one Altaf, a local resident, and came close to the vehicle of BJP youth general secretary and fired indiscriminately.

“The car has been seized near Telwani village near police post-Achabal in Anantnag,” IGP said.

He said the attack seemed to be a planned one.

The IGP said they were investigating what the BJP workers were doing at a place far from their residences so late.

“We had identified 1619 vulnerable people before August (2019) and kept them in secure places in Pahalgam. Itoo (killed in the attack), however, left the place after giving an undertaking,” he said.

He said 157 BJP workers have been provided PSOs and 30 guards.

“Those with any threat would be provided more security. We have also asked the PSOs not to allow them to move during the night in volatile areas,” he said.

He said that it is Pakistan sponsored militancy and the attack was carried at the behest of the handlers from across the border.

IGP said search operations have been launched at several places to nab the attackers.

“We will neutralise them soon,” he said.