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New worry: Are Maoists, LeT in cahoots in J&K?

New worry: Are Maoists, LeT in cahoots in J&K?

Author: M Saleem Pandit
Publication: Hindustan Times
Dated: February 15, 200

Introduction: Army: Arrest Of Rebel Reveals Money Transfers Across Border

Between trying to maintain peace and improving its tarnished im­age following the fake en­counters, Army now has another headache to deal with - a Maoist and Lashkar-e-Taiba nexus in Kashmir.

The arrest of Pasang Lama - a Maoist, accord­ing to the Army - has re­vealed that the Lashkar-e­Taiba links with the Nepalese insurgents are lunch deeper than suspect­ed earlier.

Interrogation has led the Army to the conclusion that Maoists, posing as Pashmina traders, may be pay­ing huge sums of money to Lashkar-e-Taiba men oper­ating in the Valley for sup­plies of arms and ammu­nition to sustain the insur­gency in the neighbouring country.

Defence spokesman Lt Col V K Mathur on Tuesday said Pasang Lama was arrested along with another Kashmiri - Mohammed Younis, identified as a courier and pointsperson for the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Pasang Lama is believed to have been negotiating a Rs.5 lakh deal with Lashkar-e-Taiba men operating in Rafiabad belt in Baramulla district when he was arrested.

"Pasang Lama was in Baramulla district for negotiations with LeT cadre. He was arrested at Binner village. His interrogation has revealed the deeper links of Maoist with terrorists operating in Kashmir," said Mathur.

Police sources said Pasang Lama, who has been remanded to judicial custody, had brought a cheque of Rs.2.77 lakh to hand over to the LeT. "This was the first instalment that was to be paid for the arms," the source said.

"His interrogation has revealed that he was moving in the disguise of a Pashmina trader for the past five years and was operating out of Srinagar and neighbouring towns," Mathur said, adding that he had confessed to having links with "terrorists as well as some affluent Valley citizens".

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