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In Jammu prison, LeT man from Pakistan turns contrite

A Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist, caught last year in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir after he and his accomplice attacked a convoy of the BSF, has been longing to hear from his mother. Predictably, Pakistan has refused to accept him as its citizen.

Mohammad Naved, 20, was caught after a chase by villagers after he and Abu Noman — who was later killed — fired at the convoy on August 5, 2015, killing two BSF soldiers and wounding 13 others. Famished and under the influence of drugs at the time of the attack, Naved escaped from the encounter site and took five villagers hostage at a school nearby. On the pretext of offering him food, the villagers overpowered him. The villagers even recorded Naved saying on camera that he was sent to India “to kill Hindus.”

Two BSF soldiers were killed and 13 others were injured in the attack. Abu Noman, an accomplice of Naved and an LeT terrorist was also killed.

Recently, the authorities of Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu, where he is lodged, took Naved to the Wagah border for consular access to Pakistani officials, who refused to acknowledge him as a Pakistani citizen even after he gave the phone numbers of his family members and his address at Faisalabad in Pakistan.

Turns deeply religious

“He has turned deeply religious and spends most of his time reading Urdu newspapers and books. The Class VIII drop-out is making a good use of the jail library,” said a senior prison official. Earlier, Naved had been lodged in a solitary cell. “After the NIA filed a charge sheet in January this year and considering his conduct, we shifted him to a cell where prisoners from both India and Pakistan are lodged,” said the official. An NIA official said Naved spends his time reciting the Koran. “He tries to give sermons to other prisoners and is sporting a long beard,” he said.

In the charge sheet, the NIA said Naved was trained in Lashkar camps in Pakistan and the PoK, and along with two others, he infiltrated into India through the LoC in the first week of June 2015.

“After almost a year here, Naved says his perception has changed. He was told by Lashkar handlers that Muslims live in deplorable condition in India, and his task was to avenge these atrocities. He now says he is yet to come across such an instance, and he was misguided,” the official said.

According to the charge sheet, Naved was given three types of training — religious indoctrination in the Kulhari camp at Manshera in Pakaistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province; weapons training in the Aksa Maskar camp near Sawai Nallah in Muzaffarabad, PoK; and training in field craft and tactics, map-reading and the use of GPS in the Muzaffarabad camp in the PoK.

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