Home Ministry of India transfers Pulwama attack case to NIA, agency to file FIR: Report

The Home Ministry of India on Tuesday transferred the February 14 Pulwama attack case, in which a CRPF convoy ws rammed into by a car carrying explosives in Lethpora area along the Srinagar-Jammu highway in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district killing 49 CRPF personnel, to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India which it received at its headquarters on Tuesday evening, Indian Express reported.

Citing sources, the report said that the agency would file an FIR in the matter on Wednesday.

More than 10 NIA officers have been in the Valley since Friday, providing assistance to Jammu and Kashmir Police, which was probing the case, the report said.

The report, citing sources, stated that the agency, along with the police, has been questioning suspects from Pulwama and Awantipora.

On Tuesday, the NIA team questioned some people from the two areas on suspicion of having provided logistical support to the attacker, sources were quoted as having said in the report.

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“These are the two areas in which Jaish-e-Mohammed has had maximum activity in the past few years. It is suspected that the car used for the attack was packed with explosives not far from the attack site. And it could not have happened without local help,” an officer said, in the report.

A previous report by IE stated that investigators had found shards of a jerrycan from the site, suspected to have carried 30 kg RDX, and a metal piece with a number that looked like the chassis number of the car used in the attack. The owner of the number was traced, verified, and cleared from having any connection to the case.

According to the report, the sources said that a car bumper has also been found, but none of the material has as yet led to any concrete lead.

Furthermore, on Tuesday, Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh reviewed the security situation in the country, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, the report said.

An MHA official stated that Rajnath was briefed about the prevailing security situation in JK, including along the Indo-Pak border during the meeting. The meeting was attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Director of Intelligence Bureau Rajiv Jain, among others, according to the IE report.

Militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility of the February 14 attack.

Following the news of the attack, Kashmiris living in India have been facing xenophobia, hate, terminations and suspensions.

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A mob threatened to set a Dehradun college on fire if the institute didn’t terminate a Kashmiri dean. Abid Kuchay, college Dean of the Alpine Institute has been terminated.

“The college asked for it. I agreed for the betterment of the college,” he said. Abid’s resignation has been asked for his role of getting Kashmir students admitted in the college.

Moreover, four Kashmiri students were suspended on Saturday by the National Institute of Medical Science (NIMS), Rajasthan for sharing a WhatsApp status in which they were allegedly celebrating the Pulwama attack which left 49 CRPF personnel dead.

The second-year students — Talveen Manzoor, Iqra, Zohra Nazir and Uzma Nazir — were suspended soon after they shared as a WhatsApp status allegedly celebrating the killings of the CRPF personnel in the attack

Earlier, Shridev Suman Subharti University in Dehradun suspended a Kashmiri student after his alleged WhatsApp chat regarding the Pulwama attack went viral.

ALSO READ: #IndiaWantsRevenge: Kashmiris outside fear for their lives, face xenophobia, abuse, rustication after Pulwama attack

Meanwhile, Aligarh Muslim University also suspended a Kashmiri student over a ‘highly objectionable tweet’.

Omar Saleem Peerzada, AMU PRO said: “We have come to know of the highly objectionable tweet. Taking immediate cognizance the student has been suspended by the university administration,” he said.

Moreover, 15-20 Kashmiri female students had locked themselves in a hostel room in Dehradun after a mob surrounded the campus area, demanding the management to ‘throw them out of their rooms’.

Shazia Hamid, one of the students, told Free Press Kashmir that she and other Kashmiri female students, fearing the mob, have locked themselves in a room.

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Following Free Press Kashmir’s news story the women were provided safety by the Dehradun police who dispersed the crowd peacefully.

Earlier, former chief minister Omar Abdullah had appealed to the Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh to direct all state governments to take ‘special care of areas where Kashmiris as residing or studying.’

Following the reports of attacks on Kashmiris in various parts of India, Government of India on Saturday asked all the states to ensure safety and security of the students and people from Jammu and Kashmir.

ALSO READ: When Basant Rath ‘came to the rescue’ of Kashmiri students in Dehradun

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