An arrested militant has appealed to his brothers-in-arms to shun violence and return home, in a video shot in custody in Kashmir and now viral on social media.
Aijaz Ahmad Gojri, an alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba militant, was arrested earlier this week along with nine others in connection with the murder of three civilians in Baramulla district on April 30.
“I request my other colleagues who are currently on the wrong path — Suhaib Farooq Akhoon, Mohsin Mushtaq Bhat and Nasir Amin Darzi — to return home. They have left their homes and the good life and adopted a wrong life. We were wandering in jungles for the past six months. I request them (to return) for their parents. I want to tell Nasir Amin that his mother is very ill and he must return to his mother. Everybody, for God’s sake, return to your homes,” Gojri says in the video.
Gojri also has a message to them on the Indian army. “Before my arrest, our leaders across the border in Pakistan would tell us bad about the Indian army but that is not true. You can yourself judge when you meet them. Talk to them and their officers. It is a conspiracy, a game and they are playing with our lives,” he said.
Senior superintendent of police, Baramulla, Imtiyaz Hussain confirmed that the video was of Gojri, shot during his stay in army hospital as he was injured when arrested. “He himself wanted to appeal to his friends,” he said.
Hussain said that Gojri along with Suhaib Farooq Akhoonv (who is still absconding) and Bilal Ahmad Najar had shot dead three youths — Haseeb Nabi Khan, Irfan Ahmad Sheikh and Mohd Asgar Sheikh — in Baramulla suspecting them to be informers.
“The truth is that they were not informers and since 2008 not a single militants has been killed in Barmulla,” he said.
Gojri was the first one to be arrested in a raid in the forests of Drangbal-Hajibal in Baramulla. Police said that Gojri was overpowered by the search party and he suffered minor injuries in the incident.
“The day we faced army, we tried to run away. Bilal Ahmad, the new boy, was also with us. We opened fire but the army did not respond. I ran away and hid in bushes and army arrested me. They could have opened fire but they gave me new life by arresting me,” a dishevelled Gojri says in the video.
A police spokesman on Wednesday said that they busted an LeT module operating in Sopore-Baramulla belt after sustained questioning of these arrested militants. In total, four militants and six of their helpers have been arrested.
He said that interrogation of these militants revealed that their handlers in Pakistan had given clear instructions to them to “create terror in North Kashmir Range by eliminating as many civilians as possible who are perceived to be friendly with government or security forces”.