Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police said they arrested a 25-year-old man who worked at a local news gathering agency in Srinagar after recovering two grenades from his possession on Tuesday.
According to the police, Adil Farooq, a resident of South Kashmir's Khrew area, was arrested by security personnel from a busy market in Srinagar after a grenade blast rocked the commercial hub of Lal Chowk, injuring at least ten civilians.
The attack was carried out by suspected militants at Hari Singh High street in the vicinity of Lal Chowk at about 2:40 pm. The injured were rushed to Srinagar's SMHS hospital for treatment. According to official sources, the attack was aimed at a bunker of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), a paramilitary force. However, no injury to any security personnel was reported.
The attack in Srinagar happened at a time when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was on a two-day visit to the region to inaugurate a new party office and attend the wedding ceremony of state congress chief G A Mir's son.
The Kashmir Zone Police tweeted about Adil's arrest and claimed that more arrests are expected as the investigation into the incident is being carried. It is, however, unclear whether the attack in Lal Chowk and Adil's arrest are linked.
Adil was earlier arrested by the police in 2019 for allegedly working closely with militants, a charge that was denied by his family back then. At the time, he was a student at the Department of Convergent Journalism in Central University of Kashmir (CUK), and was booked under the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA).
The arrest of Adil Farooq comes days ahead of the Indian Independence Day celebrations on August 15. The police and armed forces have increased the security vigil across the union territory in the wake of the high alert sounded ahead of the I-day.
Meanwhile, the J&K Director General of Police (DGP), Dilbagh Singh, said the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have raided over 61 locations in the valley. Many of these locations are linked to the banned socio-political group, Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI).
The DGP was visiting Rajouri and Jammu areas to review the internal and border security arrangements of these districts, which are witnessing a spike in militancy-related incidents.
The raids were carried out in Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal in central Kashmir, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipore in North Kashmir, and Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam in South Kashmir and Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar and Rajouri districts of the Jammu division.
Former Chief Minister and President of People's Democratic Party, Mehbooba Mufti termed these raids as "oppressive measures".
"Such oppressive measures may seem to work temporarily but in the long run it will prove to be counter productive. The gulf between J&K & rest of the country widens with every passing day. It is a self goal," Mufti tweeted.