Srinagar, Oct 13 (PTI) Security forces today arrested Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant Gulzar Dar, who was involved in a grenade attack on a Jammu and Kashmir minister last month in which three civilians were killed, police said.

Based on his interrogation, security forces launched an operation to nab his four associates, all foreigners, but they managed to escape after a gunfight in a forest area in south Kashmir, according to a police spokesman.

“Dar was captured during an operation in Pulwama,” the spokesman said.

He said Dar was affiliated with Pakistan-based JeM outfit and was involved in the grenade attack on Works Minister Naeem Akhtar in Tral area of the district on September 21.

While Akhtar had escaped unhurt in the attack on his motorcade at Tral bus stand, three civilians had been killed and 30 people, including seven CRPF and two police personnel, injured.

During sustained questioning, Dar admitted that he had hurled the grenade on the instructions of JeM commander Mufti Vaqas, a resident of Pakistan, and Noor Mohammad Tantray, a local resident, the spokesman said.

“It is pertinent to mention that this terrorist (Dar) was earlier active with JeM outfit in 2014 and had lobbed a grenade at bus stand Tral in which five persons lost their lives. He was arrested and released after two years in January 2017,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman said Dar had again joined JeM after the grenade attack.

He said Dar told police that his four associates, all foreign terrorists, are hiding in a hideout in Pastuna forest of Tral.

“Accordingly, a search operation was launched in the forest area. During searches, terrorists fired upon the search party. The fire was retaliated but taking advantage of the dense forest, terrorists managed to escape from the spot,” the spokesman said.

The search operation is going on, he added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.