‘Azhar neither booked nor arrested’

Citing intelligence inputs, government sources said no FIR had yet been lodged against Azhar.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: January 19, 2016 1:53 am
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Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), has neither been arrested nor placed under house arrest by Pakistan authorities, government sources said Monday. While three lower-level JeM members have been detained in Pakistan, the detentions were not in connection with the Pathankot attack, officials added.

Citing intelligence inputs, government sources said no FIR had yet been lodged against Azhar.

Read | To understand Masood Azhar’s ‘detention’, rewind to detention of Hafiz Saeed 

“There have been media reports from Pakistan claiming a crackdown is under way against Jaish-e-Mohammed and its members. However, as yet, there is no authentic and credible proof to suggest that such action has actually been taken by Pakistan. Till now, no FIR has been registered against Azhar for Pathankot attack,” said a government official.

“Three lower-level JeM members have been detained, but only for possessing jihadi literature. It is not linked to Pathankot attack. Initial reports of Azhar being detained appear to be propaganda by Pakistan agencies,” he added.

According to officials, though Pakistan has claimed it had apprehended several members of the JeM, it has not revealed under what law or sections they were detained. “Pakistan has said it is considering sending an SIT to gather further evidence on the Pathankot attack.
However, there is no clarity on the law under which such evidence collection can take place, or the details of a criminal case warranting such evidence gathering,” said an official.

After Pathankot attack, India handed over to Pakistan details of mobile numbers used by handlers of the terrorists who executed the attack. Intercepts of conversations between the handlers and terrorists were also shared.

A Pakistan PMO statement issued on January 13 had said “considerable progress has been made in the investigations being carried out against terrorist elements reportedly linked to the Pathankot incident”. It added, “Based on initial investigations in Pakistan and the information provided, several individuals belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed have been apprehended. The offices of the organisation are also being traced and sealed. Further investigations are under way.”