The National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigations into the Pulwama terror attack have revealed that Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leadership were giving directions to the Pakistani terrorists both before and after the attacks and had planned another suicidal attack. According to the NIA, JeM leadership comprising Masood Azhar, Rouf Asgar and Ammar Alvi alias Chota Masood were continuously giving directions and guidance to the Pakistani JeM terrorists (who had infiltrated into India) both before and after the attack in February 2019.
Video clips, WhatsApp chats and photographs retrieved from a damaged mobile phone helped the NIA nail the conspiracy behind the attack. The mobile phone belonged to Mohammed Umar Farooq (24), killed a month after the attack, according to the NIA.
“They had also planned to carry out another suicide attack which got averted due to Balakot strikes and due to killing of main conspirator Mohammad Umar Farooq by the security forces. Further, due to international pressure, Pakistan lied low,” news agency ANI quoted NIA as saying in a statement today.
Terming it a well-planned conspiracy by Pakistan based JeM, NIA said that it had sent its cadres to terrorist camps in Afghanisthan to receive training. It further said that the investigations had revealed a mechanism by Pakistan based establishment to push terrorists into the Indian territory from the launch pads located in Shakargarh (Pakistan) opposite the Samba-Kathua Sector in Jammu.
The NIA today filed a 13,800-page chargesheet against 19 accused persons in the NIA Special Court at Jammu in connection with the terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy that was moving from Jammu towards Srinagar on February 14, 2019, at Lethpura, Pulwama.
The NIA chargesheet has been filed under relevant sections of the Arms Act, Explosive Substances Act, Foreigners Act, among others.
Piecing together the Pulwama plot:
The main accused Mohammad Umar Farooq visited Afghanistan for explosive training in 2016-17 and had infiltrated into India through the International Border (IB) at Jammu, Samba sector, and along with three Pakistani compatriots and two local associates had planned and prepared for the attack on security forces using the improvised explosive device (IEDs), the investigation agency said.
Main accused in Pulwama Terror Attack case Md Umar Farooq infiltrated into India through International border at Jammu-Samba Sector in April, 2018 & took over as JeM Commander,Pulwama. He along with his associates planned attack on security forces using IEDs (2nd pic): NIA Source pic.twitter.com/9A3nl2LvZI
— ANI (@ANI) August 25, 2020
It also named four accused of providing all logistics and harbouring the JeM terrorists in their house, along with reconnaissance of deployment and movement of security forces on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway.
The explosive materials, RDX, gelatin sticks, among others were stocked by accused Shakir Bashir at his residence.
Another accused, Sajjad Ahmad Bhat had purchased the car in January 2019 for carrying out the IED attack. Three others had made a propaganda video clip of the suicide attack at the residence of one Insha Jan, which was released immediately after the ghastly attack took place, towards the end of January.
In the first week of February two IEDs (weighing 160 kg and 40 kg, respectively) had been made using various explosive devices, including some which were brought by terrorists who infiltrated into India from across the border, and were then fitted into the car bought for the purpose.
On February 14, as the national highway reopened after remaining closed due to heavy snowfall, Shakir Bashir drove terrorist Adil Ahmad Dar till the NH, and then Dar took over and carried out the suicide attack by ramming into the bus in the CRPF convoy.
Those named as accused include Pakistani nationals Masood Azhar Alvi, Rouf Asgar Alvi, Ammar Alvi, Mohd Ismail, Muhammad Umar Farooq, Mohd Kamran Ali, and Qari Yasir. Notably, the charge sheet named six accused who have already been killed.
Others named in the FIR include Shakir Bashir, Insha Jan, Peer Tariq Ahmed Shah, Mohd Abbas Rather, Bilal Ahmed Kuchhey, Mudasir Ahmad Khan, Sameer Ahmad Dar, Ashaq Ahmed Nengroo, and Adil Ahmed Dar, all residents of Pulwama district.
Srinagar resident Waiz-ul-Islam, Budgam resident Mohd Iqbal Rather and Sajjad Ahmed Bhat from Anantnag district were also named in the chargesheet.
In July, the NIA had informed that it has arrested the seventh accused named, Bilal Ahmed Kuchey, whom the agency has termed as “a terror associate” on July 5.
According to the agency, Kuchey a resident of Hajibal, Kakapora, Jammu and Kashmir, runs a sawmill at his place and harboured and extended logistic support to the Jaish-e- Mohammad (JeM) terrorists involved in the Pulwama attack.
The main perpetrators in the case stayed in his house and Kuchey further introduced them to other over ground workers (OGWs) who provided safe houses during their stay and planning of the attack.
(With ANI inputs)
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