Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists behind assassinating Mirwaiz Farooq tracked down after over three decades by J&K Police

Terrorists who pulled the trigger on Mirwaiz Farooq on May 21, 1990, arrested by J&K Police along with an accomplice

Terrorists who pulled the trigger on Mirwaiz Farooq on May 21, 1990, arrested by J&K Police along with an accomplice
Terrorists who pulled the trigger on Mirwaiz Farooq on May 21, 1990, arrested by J&K Police along with an accomplice

Mirwaiz Farooq assassination: Two absconding Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists arrested in J&K Police

The State Investigation Agency of J&K Police Tuesday claimed to have arrested two absconding Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists involved in the killing of Mirwaiz Farooq at his Nageen residence on May 21, 1990.

According to police, the head priest of Kashmir was killed by terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen accusing him of being a ‘peacenik’ and an ‘Indian agent’.

Hizbul Mujahideen commander Abdullah Bangroo had hatched a conspiracy to kill Mirwaiz at the behest of his Pakistan-based handlers.

Out of two arrested terrorists one of them identified as Zahoor Ahmed Bhat had opened fire on Mirwaiz Farooq inside his bedroom, killing him on the spot.

Addressing a press conference at the police control room in Srinagar, Special Director General of Police (CID), R R Swain Tuesday said SIA of J&K Police have arrested two Hizbul-Mujahideen terrorists: Javaid Ahmad Bhat code Ajmal Khan S/o Late Habibullah Bhat R/o Solina Bala, A/P Azad Basti Natipora Srinagar and Zahoor Ahmad Bhat code Bilal S/o Late Mohamad Ramzan Bhat R/o Danderkhaw Batamalo Srinagar.

He said they were absconding after murdering Mirwaiz on 21 May 1990. The two had gone underground and during all these years were variously hiding in Nepal and Pakistan among other places before surreptitiously returning back to Kashmir a few years ago. Maintaining a low profile, changing addresses, and shifting residences, they avoided the gaze of law enforcement agencies.

The Special DG said, both have been arrested and handed over to CBI as proclaimed offenders. They are now liable to immediately face trial in a designated TADA court in Delhi which has already completed the trial in respect of one of the five accused namely Ayub Dar code Ishfaq son of Late Abdul Ahad Dar of Rawalpora of Srinagar who has been convicted and serving a life sentence.

Two other absconding accused terrorists found guilty in the killing of Mirwaiz, Abdullah Bangroo and Abdul Rehman Shigan, got killed in encounters with security forces in the 1990s”, the Special DG said during the press conference.

History of the case

Sharing complete details of the case and further follow up the Special DG (CID) R R Swain said on May 21, 1990, a case regarding the killing of Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq was lodged in police station Nageen under FIR 61/1990.

“Then the case was transferred to the CBI. The CBI had presented a charge sheet against one accused after arresting him before the TADA court after which the court awarded life imprisonment to him,” he said.

The special DG CID said that investigations into the case revealed that Hizbul commander Abdullah Bangroo had hatched a conspiracy to kill Mirwaiz.

According to a written statement issued by the J&k Police, “Before killing Mirwaiz, all the five HM terrorists had gone to Pakistan for terrorist training in 1990. Back in Srinagar, Abdullah Bangroo received instructions in April 1990 from his ISI handler in Pakistan to eliminate Mirwaiz.

The police spokesman said, “On May 21, 1990, as per the plan, they all reached the gate of Mirwaiz Manzil and met Maqbool Shah, the gatekeeper, and informed him that they wanted to meet Moulvi Farooq. Maqbool Shah then asked Gulam Qadir Sofi, the gardener, to take them to the Personal Assistant as he himself was going to the market”.

“Accordingly, the gardener – Ghulam Qadir Sofi took the three to the Personal Assistant namely Saidur Rehman, who asked them about their names, and one of them disclosed his fake name as Gulzar Farooq R/o. Batmaloo. The Personal Assistant wrote that name on a slip of paper and the said slip was sent inside the room of Moulvi Farooq through the gardener Ghulam Qadir Sofi. After some time, Moulvi Farooq called the three accused inside the Office, on which Zahoor Ahmed alias Bilal entered the room of Moulvi Farooq and the remaining two accused persons including Javed Bhat took the position in the PA’s room”, the police statement said.

“On entering the room of Moulvi Farooq, Zahoor Ahmed alias Bilal fired several rounds on Moulvi Farooq from his pistol and immediately, accused Inayat also fired from his pistol in the air while coming out of PA’s room, which hit the outside wall of the office. On hearing the sound of firing, the gardener went inside the office and tried to catch hold of Ishfaq, who was trying to escape.

“However, all the accused persons escaped giving a push to the gardener Ghulam Qadir Sofi. Another accused Bilal also tried to run away, but he was caught by Ghulam Qadir Sofi. There was a scuffle between the two, in which Bilal sustained an injury below his right eye. Later, after firing one round from his pistol, Bilal also managed to escape. The accused persons ran towards Kashmir University, who were followed by Ghulam Qadir Sofi up to the main road and near the University Gate, the assailants ran towards Soura through the University compound and reached Chatargam in the afternoon of 21.05.1990. They then reported the killing of Moulvi Farooq to Abdulla Bangroo alias Ajmal Khan. All three accused persons were directed by Abdullah Bangroo, to go underground for some time”.

“During trial running for several years, it could be established that the terrorist who pulled the trigger on Mirwaiz Farooq on a fateful day on the directions of then HM commander Abdullah Bangroo was Zahoor Bhat who ironically succeeded in evading arrest by going into hiding“.

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