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Kashmiri carpenter held in Delhi, police claim he was plotting to kill Hindu priest who had spoken against Prophet Muhammad

The Delhi Police’s special cell has arrested a Jammu and Kashmir resident and accused him of planning to kill a Hindu priest on directions of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba.

According to a report John aka Jaan Mohammad Dar, a resident of Pulwama, was held from his room at the Shiva Hotel in the Paharganj area on Sunday evening.

Dar has been accused of plotting to kill Swami Yati Narsinghanand.

The report said that a .30 bore pistol, two magazines, 15 live rounds, an orange-coloured kurta, a piece of ‘kalawa’ and several other religious items were recovered from him.

A Special Cell officer said that Dar was arrested in connection with a case registered on April 28 this year. During questioning, he revealed that he has studied up to Class 12 and currently works as a carpenter.

It was also found that he was booked by the Jammu and Kashmir Police for stone pelting in 2016 at the time of the death of Burhan Wani.

The officer said that Dar stated that he had met a JeM militant named Aabid while roaming in his field in December 2020.

“Aabid informed him that he is a ‘Mujahid’ of JeM. Over the period, Aabid and Dar grew a strong bonding as both wanted to fight against the Indian government,” the report said. Though they again met in April this year, they were frequently in touch with each other on WhatsApp, the report claimed.

An unnamed officer was quoted in the report saying that in February this year, Dar had come to Delhi for treatment of his nephew who has some heart ailment, and on returning home, told Aabid about it.

“Upon hearing about Dar’s visit to Delhi, Aabid assigned him with the task to assassinate Swami Narsinghanand as he committed ‘Gustakh-e-Rasool’ (insult of the Prophet).

“Aabid also gave weapon handling training to Dar for the purpose of target killing and Rs 6,500,” the officer said, adding that Aabid promised him that he would be paid a substantial amount for carrying out the action and also told him that a person, code-named Umar would receive him in Delhi.

Revealing the plot, the officer said that Aabid had called Dar to meet in the Sangam area of Anantnag in the second week of April and informed that he would have to go to Delhi to kill Yati Narsinghanand whose video was shown to him by Aabid.

“Dar left Jammu and Kashmir on April 23 and after arriving in Delhi, he was in touch with Umar through Telegram.” A sum of Rs 35,000 was received in his account in J&K Bank on the day he left.

The officer said that Umar was to arrange his recce and stay in Delhi and also to provide access to Narsinghanand to carry out his killing.

“Dar met Umar in the Jama Masjid area as directed by Aabid. Umar took Dar to one of his hideouts for three days and later shifted him to Shiva Hotel in Paharganj,” he said.

The officer further said that Umar also brought the puja items and the orange-coloured clothes as a cover to gain entry into the temple.

“Further, he, along with Umar, received the arms consignment from another person on the flyover near his hotel,” he added.

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