The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday made its sixth arrest in the February 2019 Pulwama attack case.
Budgam resident Mohammed Iqbal Rather was arrested by NIA for allegedly transporting Pakistani bomb-maker Mohammed Umer from the Jammu border to Pulwama.
Umer and his associates allegedly fitted a bomb in a car that was driven by Kakpora resident Adil Ahmed Dar and exploded near a CRPF bus, killing 40 personnel, on February 14, 2019.
Sources said Rather was arrested in September last year in connection with a Jaish-e-Mohammed conspiracy case. He was lodged in jail, from where the NIA took him into custody in the Pulwama case after evidence surfaced that he played a part in transporting the Pulwama bombmaker.
“Mohd. Iqbal Rather had facilitated the movement of Muhammad Umar Farooq, the JeM terrorist and a key conspirator in this case, after he infiltrated into the Indian territory in Jammu region in April, 2018, from the National Highway near International border to South Kashmir. Mohd. Umar Farooq, along with others, had assembled the IED used in the attack,” the NIA said in a statement.
According to NIA, initial examination has revealed that “Mohd. Iqbal Rather was in constant touch with Pakistan-based leadership of Jaish-e-Mohammed and was in communication with them over secure messaging applications. Mohd. Iqbal Rather was part of the ‘transportation module’ of Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist organisation.”
Rather was first arrested on September 26 when he was travelling with his associates Imtiyaz Ahmad Nengroo and RIyaz Nengroo on Jammu-Pathankot highway. They were suspected of aiding transport of JeM terrorists on a regular basis.
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