National

2019 Pulwama terror attack case | JeM chief Masood Azhar among 19 in NIA charge sheet

The combo image of four undated pictures shows, from left in the first picture, Mohd Umar Farooq, Sameer Dar and Adil Ahmed Dar (2019 Pulwama attack suicide bomber), and three other terrorists who were allegedly involved in carrying out Pulwama terror attack on February 14, 2019. PTI via NIA   | Photo Credit:

More than a year after the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed by a car-borne suicide bomber, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on August 25 filed a charge sheet comprising more than 13,000 pages in a Jammu court.

Also read: Seventh accused in 2019 Pulwama blast held by NIA

The charge sheet said the attack planned by Pakistan based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and “Pakistani establishment” had been in the making since 2016.

The car that blew up the bus ferrying the jawans on February 14, 2019 on the Jammu-Srinagar highway was packed with two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) weighing 200 kg, it said.

The IEDs contained 35 kg high-grade RDX explosives, brought by Pakistani terrorists in three tranches between March-May, 2018, when they infiltrated in groups of five each from the Hiranagar sector along the Pakistan-Jammu border.

Also read: 'Key conspirator' in Pulwama suicide car bomb attack among 2 militants killed in encounter

Another attempt

The NIA said an attempt was made to attack a convoy on February 6 but it did not succeed due to heavy snowfall.

The charge sheet has been filed against JeM chief Masood Azhar and 18 others. In all, seven Pakistanis have been indicted, including Azhar’s nephew- Umar Farooq, who was killed in an encounter on March 29 in south Kashmir and is said to be the mastermind of the attack. Farooq’s father, Ibrahim Ather, is one of the main accused in the IC-814 Kandahar hijack case in 1999 and looks after the training camps of JeM in Afghanistan.

JeM sent its cadres to the joint training camps of “Al-Qaeda-Taliban-JeM” and “Haqqani-JeM” in Afghanistan to get expertise in explosives and other terrorist tactics, the NIA stated.

Also read: Even after a year, NIA unable to trace source of explosives

“Farooq also visited Afghanistan for explosives training in 2016-17. He infiltrated into India through the International Border at the Jammu-Samba Sector in April, 2018 and took over as JeM commander of Pulwama,” it said.

Farooq and his Pakistani accomplices- Mohd Kamran, Mohd Ismail alias Saifullah and Qari Yasir, and local associates --- Sameer Dar and Adil Ahmad Dar (suicide bomber), planned and prepared for the attack.

The other accused- Shakir Bashir, Insha Jan, Peer Tariq Ahmad Shah and Bilal Ahmad Kuchey, provided logistics and harboured the JeM terrorists in their houses.

Also read: Slain CRPF jawan’s family yet to come to terms with loss

“From December 2018 onward, Bashir started doing reconnaissance of the movement and deployment of security forces on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. Mudasir Ahmad Khan arranged gelatin sticks and handed them over to Bashir. RDX was brought by the Pakistani terrorists who infiltrated into India. Bashir collected the explosive material and stocked them at his house for making the IED,” the NIA said.

In January 2019, Sajjad Ahmad Bhat purchased a car. “The car was kept in the frontyard of Bashir’s house. Waiz-Ul-Islam ordered four kg of aluminium powder from his Amazon account on the directions of another accused, Ismail, and gave the same to him,” the investigating agency mentioned.

Propaganda video clip

In January 2019, Farooq, Sameer Dar and Adil Dar made a propaganda video clip of the attack at Insha Jan’s house and it was released immediately after the incident.

Also read: Pulwama terror attack: No intelligence failure, says government

Investigation revealed that the Pakistan-based JeM leadership led by Azhar, Rouf Asgar and Ammar Alvi were giving directions and guidance to the Pakistani terrorists both before and after the attack. “They had also planned to carry out another suicide attack but could not execute it due to the Balakot air strikes and the killing of Farooq by the security forces. Further, due to international pressure, Pakistan lay low,” the NIA said.

Investigation also revealed a well-crafted mechanism by Pakistani 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 stated that it received information from the foreign law enforcement agencies to crack the case.

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 5:11:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/2019-pulwama-terror-attack-case-jem-chief-masood-azhar-among-19-in-nia-charge-sheet/article32438720.ece

Next Story