Srinagar: Senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, who cracked the Pulwama terror attack case, is now the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar, Rakesh Balwal.
Balwal, who was on deputation with the anti-terror agency, National Investigation Agency (NIA), and his team managed to crack the case, in which the agency initially struggled to get any leads for 10 months.
The then Superintendent of Police with the NIA and an inspector in his team, Neeraj Sharma, were later awarded the Union Home Minister’s medal for excellence in the investigation for 2021.
In December 2021, SSP Balwal, replaced SSP Sandeep Chaudhary, who was given the key position only ten months ago.
An IPS officer of the 2012 batch from Manipur cadre, Balwal was posted with the NIA since 2018.
He is credited with handling some crucial investigations including the drone attack at the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Jammu.
The Pulwama case was solved after the agency stumbled upon the mobile phone of Masood Azhar’s nephew Muhammad Umar Farooq, who was killed by security forces months earlier, in December 2019.
SSP Balwal’s team retrieved photos, videos, and conversations showing all the moments of his journey from Pakistan to India through the border, bomb-making, and photos of other accomplices.
A 13,500-page chargesheet was filed by Balwal’s team in the Pulwama attack last year.
Several suspects were arrested for assisting Umar Farooq and other JeM conspirators.
Balwal, after taking over as SSP Srinagar has led various anti-terror operations in the city, besides seizing of ammunition and arrests of terror associates.
Dealing crime in the city is also getting preference now as is the drugs menace that is being dealt strictly.
Locals also have easy access to the SSP Srinagar.