The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested the truck driver who had allegedly ferried Pakistani militant Naveed alias Usman and his accomplices to Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir where they attacked a Border Security Force bus on August 5.
Earlier this week, the NIA had brought Naveed to Srinagar from New Delhi and then took him to South Kashmir where he identified one Khursheed Ahmad Bhat of Batapora Charsoo village in Awantipora police district as the driver who helped him. Bhat was already in police custody.
NIA sources said Khurshid had transported Naveed and his accomplice Noman, who was killed in the attack, to Jammu for a recce during which they noted the movements and timings of BSF and Army convoys.
Sources said after Naveed identified the truck driver, the NIA formally arrested Bhat. Sources also said the truck driver was in touch with several Lashkar militants operating in South Kashmir and was working as an “over ground worker” for the outfit.
“Khurshid has a record of being actively involved in supporting terrorists of Lashkar-e-Toiba and several cases were registered against him. He was also involved in dealing of drugs and narcotics. For that he was in jail for more than two-and-a-half years,” an NIA statement said.
Meanwhile, the NIA on Friday also released photographs of Abu Okasha and Abu Qasim alias Abdur Rehman, the two accomplices of Naveed who are wanted by the agency.
Abu Okasha, aged around 17 to 18 years, and another wanted accused Zargham alias Mohammed Bhai, are believed to have infiltrated into Indian territory with Naveed and Noman. The NIA had earlier released sketches of both and announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh each for information leading to their arrest.
Abu Qasim alias Abdur Rehman, is a self-styled Lashkar-e-Toiba commander in South Kashmir, who allegedly arranged logistics such as local transportation, accommodation, and food for Naveed and his accomplices.
The NIA said, “Abu Qasim was also responsible for arranging resources, identifying targets, arranging transport and execution of terrorist attacks on BSF personnel.” It has declared a Rs 10 lakh reward for his arrest.
Meanwhile, Naveed was taken to different places in South Kashmir and the police and army later carried out search operations in some villages of Pulwama. A senior police officer said Naveed was later shifted to Srinagar.