A 27-year-old alleged member of Jaish-e-Mohammed was arrested by Delhi Police Special Cell on Thursday night, officials on Friday said.
A Delhi court on Friday sent the accused to National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody till March 29. The NIA had sought his custody for 10 days from Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Syal.
The accused was wanted in a case registered by NIA on March 15.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwah said Sajjad Ahmed Khan from Handoora village in Pulwama’s Tral was working as a shawl vendor in Delhi.
“NIA had registered a case on charges of criminal conspiracy, waging war and under relevant sections of Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act on March 15 and named him as one of the accused along with Mudasir Khan and others,” he said.
According to the Army and the police, Mudasir Khan was one of the conspirators of Pulwama attack who arranged the vehicle and explosives. He was killed by security forces earlier this month.
The police claimed that Sajjad was sent to Delhi to establish a sleeper cell, find out and recruit youth for JeM.
Sources said the accused had come to Delhi in December end and was staying near Jama Masjid. The police said he was not “directly” involved in the Pulwama attack. He used to recruit youth as fidayeens , a senior officer said.
However, Mr. Kushwah said, “On the day of Pulwama terror attack, Mudasir contacted Sajjad on Whatsapp and informed that they have carried out CRPF convoy attack. Mudasir then sent him the video of Adil Dar, which he deleted from his phone”.
The police claimed that they received an input stating that an active operative of JeM has shifted to Delhi after which surveillance was mounted and movements were closely monitored.
On Thursday night, they received a specific input that an operative will be visiting Lal Quila red light from where he was nabbed.
Sajjad’s two brothers — Ishfaq Ahmed Khan and Showkat — who were members of JeM, were killed in 2018 by security forces, the police said. “Ishfaq was arrested in February 2015 for stone pelting and remained in jail where he met JeM terrorist Noor Mohammad Tantarey and subsequently became his close aide,” Mr. Kushwah said.
Tantarey and his two accomplices were arrested by Special Cell in 2003 and a huge amount of arms and ammunition, including hand grenades, were recovered from them, the police said. In 2017, Tantarey was killed in an exchange of fire in Jammu and Kashmir.
The police said Ishfaq had recruited Mudasir. After his death in April 2018, Mudasir recruited his brother Showkat in June who was killed three months later along with JeM chief Masood Azhar’s nephew Usman Haider.
“Mudasir then motivated Sajjad to work for JeM who initially provided information about the movement of convoys and search operations by Army,” Mr. Kushwah said.