2016 Nagrota Army camp attack accused got help from Kashmir separatists

Hurriyat leaders, including Geelani, gave him reference letters for visa

Updated - December 01, 2021 06:10 am IST

Published - June 07, 2018 09:52 pm IST - New Delhi

One of the accused arrested last week for his alleged role in the 2016 Nagrota Army camp attack case had obtained a Pakistani visa on reference letters issued by separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has claimed.

The NIA has, over the past two weeks, arrested three men from the Kashmir Valley for their alleged role in the attack. Seven Army personnel were killed in the fidayeen strike by three Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists.

Visits to Pakistan

The accused identified as Mohammad Ashiq Baba, Tariq Ahmed Dar and Muneer-ul-Hassan Qadri were in constant touch with JeM commanders based in Pakistan, the NIA claimed.

They were in touch with senior JeM leader Mufti Asghar based at Muzaffarabad in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir through voice calls and WhatsApp. “Besides Asghar, the accused were in touch with Qari Zarar based in Rawalpindi and Waseem and Abu Talha (all of them in charge of launching terrorists in the Jammu region),” NIA said.

 

The agency said Baba visited Pakistan four times from 2015 to 2017 via the Wagah border. “He obtained visa after getting reference letters from Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Gani Bhat and Maulana Umar Farooq. During his visits, he met JeM commanders and took directions from them after getting clearance from a local ISI agent,” the NIA said.

Infiltrators

It said Baba, on his return from Pakistan, was given instructions to receive a freshly infiltrated group of three Pakistani terrorists from the Samba sector on 28 November 2016, a day before the attack.

“Around a week before the attack, he and Qadri were given the GPS coordinates of the point where the JeM terrorists would meet them. Their handlers in Pakistan also sent the coordinates of the possible targets along the Nagrota Army cantonment through Whatsapp. They were asked to conduct a reconnaissance of these targets.”

More terrorists

NIA said the JeM terrorists changed their clothes near the Samba highway and travelled in two vehicles to Jammu, with their weapons hidden in the boot of the cars owned by Dar and Baba. “They parked the cars at a paid parking slot and then stayed at a hotel in Jammu. The same day, Baba took the commander among the attackers, Abu Hisham, to Nagrota to show him the site of the attack and came back to the hotel. Later, the three men left for Srinagar after dropping the JeM terrorists near the army camp.”

NIA said Baba and Qadri again received a group of three terrorists in March 2017 from the Samba sector and dropped them at Khrew near Pampore. “This time the terrorists were received by Noor Trali (JeM commander who was subsequently killed in an encounter). Baba went to Pakistan in April-May 2017 and met Waseem, Abu Talha and Mufti Asghar. He also met Maulana Rauf (brother of JeM chief Masood Azhar and an accused in the Pathankot attack) at their headquarters at Bahawalpur. He was showered with praise by the JeM leadership and promised a lot of financial rewards and was told to receive more attackers in future.”

The NIA claimed that Qadri told Ashiq that the JeM leaders wanted him to open an account with HDFC or ICICI bank to receive funds as reward. “Baba had an HDFC account and he gave the details to the JeM commanders on Whatsapp. They then transferred large amounts into his account. Baba says that the money came from Gulf countries,” NIA said.

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