Eight absconding terrorists have been arrested here during a special drive by the State Investigation Agency and the Criminal Investigation Department that have started looking for killers and terrorist associates hiding by blending in the society, a police official said on Thursday.
Assisted by Criminal Investigation Department (CID) inputs, State Investigation Agency (SIA) detectives working quietly for months have apprehended the eight terrorists wanted in Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act cases after about three decades, the official said.
In pursuance of its larger objective and the mandate of achieving “zero terrorism” in Jammu and Kashmir, SIA has initiated a special drive to trace and produce before the court concerned all absconders in terrorism-related cases.
The official said of the total 734 absconders, including 417 in Kashmir and 317 in Jammu, wanted in 327 TADA and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) cases, SIA has so far verified and identified 369 absconders — 215 in Jammu and 154 in Kashmir, the official said.
He said of the 369 verified absconders, 80 have died, 45 are residing in Pakistan or Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and other countries, 127 remain untraced and four are in jails.
The eight arrested absconders were involved in terrorism and disruptive activities and were booked in TADA cases registered three decades ago in different police stations of Doda district and charge-sheeted in the TADA Court Jammu, the official said.
They managed to escape the clutches of the law for decades by going underground before resurfacing to enjoy normal family life at their native or some distant places, he said.
Some of these absconders had managed to get into government services and bagged contracts, while others got engaged in private businesses and even in courts, the official said.
Those apprehended have been identified as Adil Farooq Faridi of Jammu, a government employee presently posted in Jammu and Kashmir Board Of School Education), Ishfaq Ahmed who was working as a writer in Doda court complex, Mohd Iqbal, Mujahid Hussain, Tariq Hussain, Ishtiaq Ahmed Dev, Ajaz Ahmed and Jameel Ahmed.
They will be produced before the TADA/POTA court in Jammu in pursuance of warrants issued against them, the official said.
He said the apprehended terrorists were involved in various terrorist activities including killings, kidnapping for ransom, instigating people for violence by setting false narratives during prayer meetings and atrocities at gunpoint between 1991 and 1993.
They were also named in an FIR following the recovery of a huge cache of arms and ammunition in the Shambaz area of Doda on June 22, 1994.
The official said how these absconder terrorists managed to escape the law and live a normal life without being traced for so long will also be investigated by the SIA.