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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Caught: ‘Bomber’ linked to BJP at least till May

Pictures have emerged showing a man resembling Lashkar ‘commander’ Talib Hussain in the company of Amit Shah and J&K saffron party president Ravinder Raina

Muzaffar Raina Srinagar Published 04.07.22, 03:35 AM
A picture tweeted by the Jammu and Kashmir Congress shows a person resembling Talib Hussain, the alleged Lashkar “commander” who was arrested on Sunday, with Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina (right). Raina dismissed the presence of Hussain in his party  as a “conspiracy hatched by Pakistan” to target him  and the party headquarters

A picture tweeted by the Jammu and Kashmir Congress shows a person resembling Talib Hussain, the alleged Lashkar “commander” who was arrested on Sunday, with Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina (right). Raina dismissed the presence of Hussain in his party as a “conspiracy hatched by Pakistan” to target him and the party headquarters

Police on Sunday said they had arrested wanted Lashkar “commander” Talib Hussain after residents of a Jammu village overpowered him, but the BJP was left shaken when it emerged that the militant had occupied a senior post in the party at least till May.

Pictures have emerged showing a man resembling Hussain in the company of Union home minister Amit Shah and Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina.

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Also, what appeared a BJP letterhead is circulating on social media, purportedly showing a Talib Hussain taking over as head of the IT department of the party’s minority cell.

“Mr. Talib Hussain Shah, at Draj Kotranka, Budhan, District Rajouri, shall be the new IT & Social Media Incharge BJP Minority Mocha Jammu Province with immediate effect,” read the order, purportedly issued by the BJP Minority Morcha, Jammu and Kashmir, on May 9.

The embarrassment for the party comes amid reports that Riyaz Attari, the suspect behind the murder of Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal, had BJP links. The party has denied any connection with Attari but on Sunday accepted the link with Hussain.

BJP spokesperson R.S. Pathania, in a video message, called it an attempt by Pakistan to infiltrate the party and kill its top leadership.

“The terrorist activities have taken on a new avatar as they have been made to sneak into BJP, get close to leaders and create life and security threat to top BJP leaders,” he said.

“This was an attempt to make a lethal attack on BJP president Mr Ravinder Raina and other senior leaders.”

However, the hashtag #BJPwithterrorists had a field day on Twitter.

Sheikh Bashir, the BJP Minority Morcha chief for Jammu and Kashmir, acknowledged appointing Hussain as IT department chief but told The Telegraph that Hussain had resigned 18 days after assuming the position.

Bashir sent this correspondent a WhatsApp picture of Hussain’s purported resignation but it carried no signature.

“He did not attend any meeting of the party during these days,” Bashir said, without clarifying why Hussain would quit if he had infiltrated the party to attack the leadership and succeeded in reaching a senior position.

Pathania told this newspaper that the BJP had 16 crore to 18 crore members and it was not possible to screen each of them. He blamed Hussain’s entry into the party on the process of online registrations --- normally an avenue for the party to boast about its huge membership.

Referring to Hussain’s purported photograph with Shah that was tweeted by the Jammu and Kashmir Congress, Pathania said “an authoritative person” told him that its was a picture of 2017 when the home minister was visiting Jammu and Kashmir and the then state was ruled by the PDP-BJP alliance.

Pathania said he had “doubts” that Hussain was part of the BJP at the time and was unclear how he had managed to get so close to Shah when the picture was taken.

“That was some organisational meeting but he (Hussain) was not an invitee. It is a secret (mystery) how he was there,” he said.

Bravery

The controversy somewhat overshadowed the bravery of the villagers of Tukson Dhok, Jammu, who officers said had overpowered Hussain and an associate and handed them over to the police.

The authorities have announced cash rewards totalling Rs 7 lakh for the villagers and lauded their courage.

“Hats off to the courage of the villagers of Tuksan, in Reasi district. Two #terrorists of LeT apprehended by villagers with weapons; 2AK #rifles, 7 #Grenades and a #Pistol. DGP announces #reward of ?2 lakhs for villagers,” additional director-general of police Mukesh Singh tweeted.

“I salute the bravery of villagers of Tukson Dhok, Reasi, who apprehended two most-wanted terrorists. Such determination by common man shows end of terrorism is not far away. UT Govt to extend ?5 Lakh cash reward to villagers for gallant act against terrorists and terrorism,” Lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha tweeted.

ADGP Singh said Hussain was the mastermind behind the recently busted modules that had carried out serial blasts in the Udhampur and Pir Panchal districts of Jammu.

“We were making relentless efforts to arrest Talib Hussain. The police, army and the CRPF in the three districts of Rajouri, Poonch and Reasi were after him, because of which he had fled to the Dhoks in the Pir Panchal area where he was planning terrorist attacks,” he told reporters.

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