The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday filed a chargesheet against Maulana Abdul Rouf Asghar, Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar’s brother and his deputy, and 13 others in connection with the 2016 terror attack on an Army camp at Nagrota, on the outskirts of Jammu city.
Seven soldiers were killed in the attack. Three terrorists who had carried out the attack were killed in the ensuing gun battle.
Of the 13 accused, four Kashmir natives —- Mohammad Ashiq Baba, Syed Munir-ul-Hassan Qadri, Tariq Ahmad Dar and Ashraf Hamid Khandey —- were arrested by the NIA for allegedly providing logistics to the three militants killed.
While challan was produced against these four accused in court, the others, including Abdul Rouf Asghar, were declared absconders by the special judge for NIA cases, Haq Nawaz Zargar.
Describing JeM deputy chief Asghar as mastermind of the Nagrota terror attack, who allegedly planned the fidayeen attack and provided training to the three Pakistani terrorists who were gunned down following the attack, the NIA has stated that he had directed the JeM’s “launch commander” in Kashmir, Mufti Asgar, to provide training, funds, equipment and mobile phone and other logistics to Ashiq Baba, a local member of the terror outfit. The terrorists who attacked Nagrota camp were Hissam, Numan and Aadil, the chargesheet mentions, adding that they were highly trained.
Equipped with AK-47 rifles and explosives, they attacked the Officers’ Mess Complex of 166 Medium Regiment of the Indian Army at Nagrota Cantonment during the early hours of November 29, 2016.
According to NIA, Ashiq Baba, the local member, had visited Pakistan on several occasions —- allegedly after getting visa recommendation from hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani —- and met JeM terrorists Waseem (identified as operational commander of JeM); Abu Talha, alias Doctor (JeM deputy commander of Jammu region); and Qari Zarar (launch commander of JeM for Jammu region).
He also met Mufti Asgar at Muzaffarabad, in PoK, where he was received by Abdullah, alias Al Hijama, and Tariq Mir, both JeM terrorists and close associates of Mufti Asgar, NIA spokesperson Alok Mittal said.
According to the NIA, during the meeting with the terror outfit’s top leadership, Mufti Asgar made a detailed plan, including the modus operandi to be adopted for infiltration of JeM terrorists, and asked Ashiq to activate the local JeM network in Jammu and Kashmir for “jehadi cause”.
Ashiq Baba underwent training at the JeM training centre in Mansehra, near Abbottabad in Pakistan, and was given money to organise logistics and a GPS-enabled Huawei mobile phone to communicate with JeM leaders in Pakistan, according to the NIA. He disclosed during interrogation that Jaish runs a terror training camp in Mansehra in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.