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Arson by miscreants: Police claims arrest of nine persons

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Srinagar: Police on Tuesday said that it has arrested a group of five “miscreants” involved in hurling petrol bombs (Molotov Cocktails) and threatening of shopkeepers and locals in the interiors of Srinagar City. Four more youth were arrested for similar charges in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
Police said that this group was involved in hurling petrol bombs on vehicles of police and security forces in the areas of Sarafkadal, Bohrikadal, Rajourikadal, Khanyar and Nowhatta.
“They were also involved in intimidating and threatening of shopkeepers and other businessmen based in the old city,” a police spokesman said.
“Officers while carrying out the investigation learnt that the miscreants were forcing minors to track the movement of police and security forces vehicles in the area,” the spokesman added.
A case under relevant sections of law has already been registered and further investigation in the matter is in progress, he said.
Police said that the community members and businessmen from the old city have appreciated the police action against the miscreants.
Police has resolved to act tough against the antisocial elements and miscreants involved in criminal activities in the area, the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, police also claimed to have arrested four local youth, who according to them were involved in torching of three shops in north Kashmir’s Baramulla town.
On Sunday, at least three shops were gutted in Baramulla town, which created panic among the shopkeepers after which they kept their shops closed for many days.
Addressing a press conference, SSP Baramulla Abdul Qayoom said they apprehended four youth after investigating the case for the last eight days.
“On 24 November three shops in Baramulla market were set ablaze by miscreants at three different places. One three-storey shopping complex named LibasGhar got completely damaged. A case under FIR No. 181/2019 u/s 436, 506 IPC was registered at Police Station Baramulla and investigation was taken up,” he said.
SPP Baramulla identified the apprehended youth as Mohammad Maroof Saliah, Bilal Mehraj Bhat, Sameer Ahmad Shakroo and Aadil Gaffar Sofi of Baramulla, who according to police have confessed their involvement into the case.
“A team was constituted including Deputy Superintendent of Police Baramulla and other officers. During the course of investigation, CCTV footage available at different points was retrieved and it was observed that the three out of four persons where moving suspiciously during the day time. We arrested all these four accused on Monday night and all of them confessed about their involvement in the crime,” he said.
Divulging details about the incident, Qayoom said one of the accused Sameer Ahmad Shakroo has planned the strategy of setting the shops ablaze.
“At 4:30pm Maroof, Adil and Bilal executed the plan of Sameer to set these shops ablaze. Sameer bought petrol from Azadgunj petrol pump at Rs 400 out of which Rs 150 was paid by Bilal, who is running a shop in Kanlibagh. They decided to set the shops ablaze before 8pm when electricity curtailment schedule ends in the area,” he said. SSP Baramulla said the main motive behind the act was to create “a fear” among the shopkeepers.
“Shops in Baramulla were functioning normally and the accused wanted to instill fear among shopkeepers so that they close their shops,” he said. Qayoom said they have recovered incriminating material and logistics used in the commission of crime from the accused.
“Involvement of other criminals cannot be ruled out and further investigation is going on,” he said.

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