The armed forces in Kashmir have identified militants behind the spate of target killings, a PTI report said. The attackers included their 25-year-old mastermind Basit Ahmed Dar, a resident of Kulgam in South Kashmir.
The officials told the newswire said that Dar, who disappeared from his home in Redwani in Kulgam district in April, had been under the scanner earlier also as he worked with Abbas Sheikh, the chief of The Resistance Front (TRF).
According to officials, Dar and three others — including Mehran Shalla, a youth in his early 20s and a resident of Nawa Kadal in downtown city, and another young man Adil — were part of a four-member terror squad that carried out the attacks in the summer capital.
The officials said the group was involved in the killing of Kashmiri Pandit businessman Makhan Lal Bindroo, who owned a chain of medical shops, school principal Supinder Kaur and teacher Deepak Chand, both of whom taught in the same school located at Eidgah.
The officials said Basit has been moving around in the city and is accompanied by Mehran and others.
Dar took over the TRF operations after the death of Abbas Sheikh, among the oldest face of militancy in the valley.
A resident of Kulgam’s Rampur village, Sheikh had joined the banned Hizbul Mujahideen in the mid-90s and kept returning to the militant fold after being arrested and released twice.
He was arrested for the first time in 2004 and released after a year. In 2007, he was arrested again and spent four years in jail. After his release, he was at home for three years, before going missing again in the spring of 2014.
He was slain in a swift operation by the army early this year.