Lashkar-e-Taiba fuelling Kashmir unrest, says NIA

Inspector General of NIA Sanjeev Singh addresses the media in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo: V. Sudershan  

A day after India handed over a strong demarche to Pakistan over its continued support to cross-border terrorism, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday said it has evidence to prove that Lashkar-e-Taiba is sending its cadres, with the help of Pakistani security forces, to fuel large-scale agitation in Kashmir.

For the first time, the NIA also released a videographed confession of 21-year-old Pakistani “terrorist” Bahadur Ali, who was arrested by the local police in North Kashmir’s Kupwara on July 26, following a tip-off from locals. Pakistan had earlier this year released a video statement of an Indian national, Kulbhushan Yadav, claiming that he had been arrested in Balochistan on spying charges.

NIA Inspector-General Sanjeev Kumar Singh said the agency was collecting evidence that would “stand international judicial scrutiny and, if required, the agency will share it with Pakistan through proper channels for further action.”

Search on for Bahadur Ali’s collaborators

Ali purportedly disclosed that to take advantage of the unrest in Kashmir after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani, he and other terrorists were instructed to mix with crowds and lob grenades on Indian security forces.

NIA IG Mr. Singh said that while Ali continues to remain in NIA custody, the agency has launched an operation to trace those who extended logistical support to him after he crossed the Line of Control on June 11-12 along with two other terrorists.

Mr. Singh said the terrorists were first taken to one Mandakuli detachment headed by a senior LeT member near the LoC. They were given weapons and equipment after being familiarised with the infiltration route. Some Pakistani army men in civvies, who were addressed as major/captain sahib, also met them.

Logistical support

When they were crossing the barbed-wire fencing, their guide got an assurance over wireless from someone that there would be retaliatory firing, in case Indian security forces tried to stop them.

“This corroborates the statement made by Naveed, another Pakistani national arrested in the BSF convoy attack at Udhampur in August 2015. Evidence reveals that there is an operations room run by one Waleed in Muzaffarabad from where the movement of terrorists is controlled,” he said.

When Ali was arrested, he carried a wireless set, a GPS device, Unicode sheets for identification of locations, a compass, maps and one matrix sheet of codes for communication with his handlers in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, according to the NIA.

During interrogation, the accused revealed he is a resident of Lahore. He got separated from the other two terrorists on June 22. Based on his disclosures, security forces killed four other terrorists in Monibal village.

The NIA probe has revealed that a high-power radio communications centre codenamed Alpha-3 has been set up in PoK, in coordination with Pakistani forces, to remain in contact with the LeT cadres operating in Kashmir.

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Printable version | Jul 18, 2021 9:44:16 PM |

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