Less than a week after the killing of three civilians, including two teachers, the security agencies have zeroed in on a local-goon-turned militant from downtown Srinagar, who is suspected to have carried out the brutal killings at the behest of his Pakistani handlers.
Highly reliable sources in the security establishment identified the militant as Mehran Yasin Shala, who was reportedly inducted into the terrorists’ ranks in June this year. Mehran, who belongs to Jamalata area of downtown Srinagar, till a few months ago was a local goon operating in the Nawa Kadal area.
He was briefly associated with the Gujjar gang led by Sheikh Mehran Ali, who was killed in a gang war in downtown Srinagar last month. Sources associated with the investigation into the killing of school principal Supinder Kour and her colleague Deepak Chand revealed that Mehran was recruited by Pakistani handler Wahid in June to carry out targeted killings. Mehran, along with an unidentified Pakistani terrorist, had killed the teachers and prominent pharmacist Makhan Lal Bindroo but was not behind the killing of a hawker from Bihar, they said.
Slain chief of The Resistance Force (TRF) Shiekh Abbas, who was killed in an encounter in August, is believed to have played a key role in the induction of Mehran. “It seems the terror groups wanted to pick somebody who did not have a terror-related background so that detection became tough,” explained a source. “That is why Mehran, given his knowledge of the terrain in downtown Srinagar, was recruited for selective killing of civilians,” he added.
The security agencies have launched a massive manhunt for Mehran. Multiple agencies, including the National Investigation Agency (NIA) , have cracked down on over-ground TRF workers and several places across Srinagar have been raided in the past 24 hours. (Courtesy/The Tribune)