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NIA files 5,000-page chargesheet in Pulwama terror attack, names JeM chief Masood Azhar

NIA chargesheet filed in a Jammu court says the explosives used in the attack came from Pakistan in batches over a period of four months on Amavasya nights.

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New Delhi: More than one-and-a-half years after 40 CRPF personnel were killed in a terror attack in Pulwama, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a chargesheet naming Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Abdul Rauf Asghar and others for “carrying out the attack at the behest of Pakistan”.

A source in the NIA confirmed the development and said a 5,000-page chargesheet was filed in a Jammu court Tuesday afternoon.

The chargesheet also mentions that the explosives used in the attack — ammonium nitrate, nitro-glycerine and RDX — came from Pakistan in batches over a period of four months, the source said, adding that the NIA has prepared a “watertight chargesheet” based on technical and forensic evidence, which proves Pakistan’s role in the attack.

“We have established the role of Jaish and Pakistan in the attack through a thorough investigation,” the source said.

Apart from Azhar and Asghar, the chargesheet names seven alleged JeM operatives — Shakir Bashir Magrey, Mohammad Abbas Rather, Mohammad Iqbal Rather, Waiz-ul-Islam, Insha Jan, Tariq Ahmad Shah and Bilal Ahmed Kuchey — arrested from Kashmir in the last one year for assisting the attackers with logistics.

The names of suicide bomber Adil Ahmed Dar, key JeM operatives Mudasir Ahmed Khan, Qari Mufti Yasser, Kamran and Sajjad Ahmed Bhat are also mentioned, but not as accused as they were killed in the Valley in separate exchanges of fire with security forces last year.

Forty CRPF personnel, travelling in a convoy on the Jammu and Kashmir Highway in Pulwama district, were killed on 14 February when a suicide bomber rammed a car loaded with explosives into the CRPF bus around 3.15 pm in Awantipora’s Goripura area. The impact of the blast reduced the bus to a mangled heap.

Following the attack, banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility and even released a video of the purported attacker.

Also read: ‘How do we turn away gun-wielding men?’ Pulwama woman asks after arrest of daughter, husband

Explosives sneaked in during Amavasya’

The source in the NIA claimed that the explosives, including the RDX, were brought into the Valley from Pakistan over a period of four months on Amavasya nights (first night of the lunar phase of the New Moon).

“The explosives were sneaked in from across the borders on the nights when there would be no moon. This is a strategy that is used by the infiltrators wherein they wait for dark nights,” the source said.

“Investigation has revealed that the explosives were brought in batches and then stocked. It appears that they brought the explosives in several batches within a span of four to five months,” the source said.

On 26 February, just 12 days after the Pulwama attack, five Mirage 2000 fighter jets of the Indian Air Force dropped Spice 2000 precision-guided bunker-busting bombs on a JeM terror camp at Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region. India claimed that it attacked a JeM training camp and killed a large number of terrorists.

Also read: One year of Pulwama attack: All suspects dead, no clue still how explosives reached Kashmir


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