Conflict

NIA makes seventh arrest in Pulwama Attack case

Srinagar: National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday said that it has made one more arrest in the Pulwama attack case. In connection with the attack, the agency has arrested seven persons so far.

In a statement to the press, NIA said; “in the continuing investigation of the Pulwama attack case in which 40 CRPF personnel were martyred in an IED blast on 14.2.2019, NIA arrested one more accused namely Bilal Ahmed Kuchey, son of Ghulam Nabi Kuchey, a resident of Hajibal, Kakapora, Pulwama, Jammu & Kashmir on 05.07.2020.”

According to the NIA, “Bilal Ahmed Kuchey who is running a sawmill at his place, is a terror associate who harboured and extended logistic support to the JeM militants involved in the Pulwama attack. The main perpetrators in the case stayed in his house and he further introduced them to other OGWs who provided safe houses during their stay and planning of the attack. He provided the JeM militants with high-end mobile phones which were used by them to communicate with the Pakistan-based JeM leadership as well as among themselves for giving final touches to their planning and for execution of the attack.”

The statement added; “mobile phone provided by him was also used for recording the video clip of Fidayeen Adil Ahmed Dar, which became viral after the attack.”

The statement further said that Bilal Ahmed Kuchey was produced before NIA Special Court, Jammu on 06.07.2020 and ten (10) day’s NIA remand was taken for his custodial interrogation.

This is the seventh arrest made by NIA in this case so far and further Investigations in this case are in progress.

On February 14 last year, a convoy of vehicles carrying CRPF personnel on the Srinagar-Jammu highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora in Pulwama district.

At least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in the attack.

Following the attack, several incidents of Kashmiri students being harassed in parts of India were reported. Besides beating and asking them to vacate, many students were booked, suspended and rusticated from colleges and universities across the country. Most of the students were expelled for what officials called “anti-national” social media posts.

Apart from the student community, many migrants, traders and professionals living in different parts of the country especially in north India were forced to pack their bags and leave the place.

However, this was not the end. The Pulwama attack also led to the intrusion of 12 Mirage-2000 warplanes into Pakistan’s Balakot town where they dropped four bombs. The air raids were carried out during wee hours on February 26, 2019, twelve days after the Pulwama attack.

A day later, Pakistan Air Force hit three spots in Rajouri and downed a MIG that Wing Commander Abhinandan was flying. The pilot from Tamil Nadu was captured by Pakistan and released soon as a ‘goodwill gesture’ to de-escalate the tensions.

On the other hand, Indian Air Force said that they also downed an F-16 fighter plane that Pakistan later refused to admit. Pakistan also refused that there was any human loss in the Balakote raid in which, Delhi insisted they destroyed a militant camp with possibly 300 killings.

 

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