Pulwama attack: NIA charges 19 including Masood Azhar, his brother Rauf Asghar

The National Investigation Agency has filed its chargesheet in the Pulwama attack case. 19 terrorists including Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar have been named in the chargesheet. The NIA has also charged Rauf Asghar, brother of Azhar and the launchpad commander of the JeM, Ammar Alvi. Seven persons have been arrested in the case while 5 are still absconding.

Pulwama attack: NIA charges 19 including Masood Azhar, his brother Rauf Asghar

The 13,000 page chargesheet was filed at the special court in Jammu. It names Mohammad Umer Farooq as the key conspirator of the attack. He is the nephew of Azhar and son of IC-814 hijacker Ibrahim Azhar.

In its chargesheet, the NIA said that it has enough evidence to show that Farooq was in touch with the JeM leadership in Pakistan. Further the chargesheet also says that 200 kilograms of explosives was used to trigger the blast. 35 kgs of the RDX was brought in from Pakistan while the rest was locally procured nitro-glycerine and ammonium nitrate. An NIA official tells OneIndia that the investigation relied heavily on digital and scientific evidence and went on for over one year. 

Further the NIA said that Farooq had entered India in 2018 and he had played the lead role in assembling the IED. It may be recalled that he was killed in an encounter on March 29 along with Kamran, an IED expert. The NIA has also named Ismail Saifullahm who along with Farooq had crossed the border. He is however absconding. Another absconding accused in the chargesheet is Sameer Dar.

The NIA it may be recalled had also arrested Shakir Bashir Magrey, a furniture shop owner at Lethpora on the charge that he had provided logistic support to the bomber. He is also accused of procuring the battery, ammonium nitrate that was used to fabricate the IED. 

Further the NIA had also arrested Tariq Ahmad Shah and his daughter Insha Jan for providing shelter to the terrorists. The others to be named in the chargesheet would be Mohammad Rather, Bilal Ahmed Kuchey, Mohammad Abbas Rather and Waiz ul Islam. Each of these persons helped in both procurement as well as logistics.

He had managed to escape from the encounter site after Farooq and Kamran were killed. The probe by the NIA revealed that the RDX used in the attack was procured from Pakistan. The JeM terrorists had infiltrated into India and the NIA has video evidence of the same. The NIA also detailed the role of Adil Ahmed Dar, the suicide bomber who rammed the explosive laden vehicle into the CRPF convoy at Pulwama. The NIA said that the original plan was to strike on February 6 2019. However the plan was delayed as the highway was closed due to snow.

 It was Shakir Bashir at whose house the bomb was prepared who had noticed work being undertaken by a road opening party. He in turn alerted Farooq about the same, following which the attack was carried out.