Pulwama attack: NIA names JeM chief Azhar, brothers in chargesheet

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) in its chargesheet in the 2019 Pulwama attack case has named Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, his brothers Abdul Rauf Asghar and Ammar Alvi, slain JeM militant Mohammad Umar Farooq, suicide bomber Adil Ahmed Dar and other militant commanders operating from Pakistan.

These are apart from the six arrested accused in the case.

The NIA has filed a 13,500-page chargesheet in the special NIA court in Jammu along with the pictures and digital evidence of the Pulwama attack. An NIA official told IANS: “The agency filed a chargesheet (on Tuesday) against Azhar, Asghar, Alvi, their slain nephew Farooq, six arrested accused, and absconding accused Sameer Dar in the Pulwama attack case at a Jammu special NIA court.”

The NIA said that it has also named two Pakistani nationals – Mohammad Kamran and Mohammad Ismail alias Saifuddin, both IED experts. The official said that the agency has prepared a watertight case against the people named in the chargesheet along with all the irrefutable evidence, including their chats and call details to highlight the role of Pakistan in the February 14, 2019 attack in which 40 CRPF troopers were killed.

The official said that this attack was a plot hatched by the Pakistan-based group to project the attack as part of the home-grown militancy in Kashmir. The NIA has also accused several top commanders of the terrorist group in its chargesheet.

The agency arrested Mohammad Iqbal Rather, 25, a resident of Budgam, Jammu & Kashmir in July this year. He is accused of facilitating the movement of Farooq, the JeM militant and a key conspirator in this case, after he infiltrated into Indian territory in Jammu region in April 2018.

Farooq, along with others, had assembled the IED used in the attack. The NIA in its chargesheet claimed that Farooq, who infiltrated in India was an IED expert. Farooq along with suicide bomber Adil and absconding militant Sameer Dar prepared the IED that was placed in the car that was used in the attack.

Sameer had come out of the car 500 meters away from the attack site. Earlier, the NIA found that Rather was in constant touch with the Pakistan-based leadership of the JeM and was in communication with them over secure messaging applications and was also part of the transportation module of the militant organisation.

The other five arrested accused named in the chargesheet are – Shakir Bashir, Mohammad Abbas Rather, Waiz-ul-Islam, and the father-daughter duo of Tariq Ahmad Shah and Insha Jan – all alleged over ground workers of the JeM.