New Delhi: A day after security forces foiled a Pulwama-style suicide attack, once again in Pulwama, the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday identified the owner of the explosives-laden car, which was intercepted and destroyed by a joint team of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Army. Also Read - Pulwama-like Terror Attack Averted: Vehicle Suspected of Carrying 40-45 Kgs of Explosives; JeM Has Main Role, Says Top Cop
In a statement today, the J&K Police said, “J&K Police identifies Hidayatullah Malik, owner of the explosives-laden car which was intercepted in Pulwama. He is a resident of Shopian and joined Hizbul Mujahideen last year.” Also Read - Riyaz Naikoo Encounter: Stone-pelting on Streets of Pulwama After Killing of Hizbul Terrorist; 16 Injured
According to reports, the arrested Hizbul militant is a resident of Sharatpora in Shopian and had joined the group in July 2019.
Notably, the car, a Santro, was laden with 40-45 kgs of Improvised Explosive Device (IED). On being fired at by the security forces, while the driver managed to escape, the car was later blown off in a controlled explosion. Also, the car had a fake number plate.
Earlier this month in Pulwama, in what was a massive blow to the Hizbul, security forces had neutralised Riyaz Naikoo, a most-wanted commander of the group.
On February 14 last year, over 40 CRPF jawans were martyred when an explosives-laden SUV rammed into their vehicle in Pulwama. Days later, in response, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had bombed in Pakistan’s Balakot, a camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the group that had carried out the attack in Pulwama.
The IAF response triggered a counter-action by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), and subsequently a dogfight between the two sides.