HomeIndian DefencePulwama attack: 5 years of Pulwama attack: Key Pakistan-based conspirators still elusive

Pulwama attack: 5 years of Pulwama attack: Key Pakistan-based conspirators still elusive

Source : The Economic Times

Pulwama attack: 5 years of Pulwama attack: Key Pakistan-based conspirators still elusive
Pulwama attack: 5 years of Pulwama attack: Key Pakistan-based conspirators still elusive 11

Five years after the 2019 Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir, the key conspirators, including Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar, remain elusive while Pakistan is yet to respond to India’s letter rogatory on the matter.

On February 14, 2019, Pakistan-sponsored terrorists killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel when an explosive-laden vehicle hit their convoy at Lethpora while they were heading from Jammu to Srinagar on the national highway.

Fifteen of the 19 militants involved in the attack have either been killed or arrested while a probe by National Investigation Agency named Azhar, his brother Rouf Asgar and their cousin Ammar Alvi, all three absconding Pakistani nationals, in the case. They were declared individual terrorist by India in 2019-21. NIA unearthed the attack plot after recovery of a cell phone belonging to a Pakistani militant, Mohammed Umar Farooq (24), killed a month after the attack.

According to NIA, Azhar had planned to carry out another suicide attack after Pulwama which was averted due to the Balakot strikes and Farooq’s killing by the security forces. Farooq was the son of IC-814 hijacking accused Ibrahim Athar.

On February 26, 2019, the Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets carried out an air strike in one of the largest training camps of JeM in Balakot in retaliation to the Pulwama attacks.

Probe revealed that Farooq visited Afghanistan for explosives training in 2016-17. He infiltrated into India through the international border from Jammu-Samba Sector in April 2018, and took over as JeM commander of Pulwama. “Accused Shakir Bashir, Insha Jan, Peer Tariq Ahmad Shah and Bilal Ahmad Kuchey provided logistics and harboured the JeM terrorists in their houses,” according to NIA.They were later arrested by NIA.From December 2018 onwards, Bashir started recee on the movement and deployment of security forces on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. The explosives including RDX, gelatin sticks, aluminium powder and ammonium nitrate were brought by Pakistani militants into India and were kept at Bashir’s house for making IEDs. In January 2019, another suspect namely Sajjad Ahmad Bhat purchased a Maruti EECO car.”The vehicle was kept in the front yard of Bashir’s house while another accused Waiz-Ul-Islam ordered 4 kgs of aluminium powder using his Amazon account. Farooq, along with other Pak nationals – Mohd Kamran, Mohd Ismail and Qari Yasir conspired with the suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar (local) for the attack on security forces using IEDs,” as per NIA.

While Ismail is absconding, all three Pak nationals were killed during an encounter with security forces. Propaganda video of the suicide attack, retrieved from the mobile phone, was shot by Sameer Dar and Adil Ahmad Dar at Insha Jan’s house. It was released immediately after the attack, according to the NIA charge sheet.

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