The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday carried out searches at 11 locations across south Kashmir in connection with its probe into the Pulwama attack. The locations raided include those associated with Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) operative Sajjad Bhat, the owner of the car that was used to target the CRPF convoy killing 40 personnel, and another operative identified as Mudassir Ahmed Khan.
The NIA identified Khan and Bhat as ��active terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad and key accused persons in the recent terror attack at Pulwama”.
“Searches were also conducted in the houses of active OGWs (Over Ground Workers) of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Tral, Awantipora and Pulwama areas of South Kashmir,” an NIA statement said. It claimed that “incriminating materials including diaries containing coded writings were seized” during the searches.
Alleged JeM operative Adil Ahmed Dar on February 14 drove an IED-laden car alongside a CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway and detonated it near a bus, killing 40 personnel. During investigations, the NIA found that the car had been manufactured and first bought in 2011. Since then, it had changed seven owners and was last bought by Anantnag resident Sajjad Bhat on February 4, just 10 days before the attack.
“We are questioning several overground workers and based on information gathered from them, searches have been conducted. Some suspects have been identified. A few documents have been recovered along with a diary. We are verifying these documents. We are also deciphering the codes mentioned in the diary,” an NIA officer said.
Meanwhile, the agency continued its crackdown on separatists. After searches on premises connected to separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik and Masarat Alam, the agency on Wednesday carried out searches at the homes of three other separatist leaders of south Kashmir. The NIA identified them as Mohd Shaban Dar, Shawkat Maulvi and Yasmine Raza. The raids were conducted in connection with the terror funding case the NIA is probing against Kashmiri separatists.
“Documents related to terror funding, coded messages and Jihadi literature have been seized. During searches, NIA teams also recovered lot of incriminating documents including property details, documents relating to financial and monetary transactions, electronic devices, mobile phones, sim cards etc,” the NIA statement said.
Two Jaish militants killed in encounter
Srinagar: Two Jaish-e-Mohammad militants were killed in a gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district Wednesday. The number of Jaish militants killed since the Pulwama attack has now risen to 10.
On Tuesday night, a joint team of J&K Police, Army and CRPF cordoned off Meemender village in Shopian after receiving a tip-off about the presence of militants there. “As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the terrorists. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight,” police said in a statement. “In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter,” they added.
Police said the slain militants belonged to Jaish and identified one of them as Suhail Nazir, a Pulwama resident. Police said the documents recovered from the militants identified the other militant as a Pakistani national. Police said the militants were involved in several attacks. “As per the police records, they were involved in conspiring and executing several terrorist attacks and were wanted by the law for their complicity in a series of terror crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities. Several cases were registered against them for their terrorist activities,” the police said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines