The National Investigation Agency Tuesday arrested a father-daughter duo from Hakirpora village in Pulwama for allegedly providing shelter to Adil Ahmed Dar, a Jaish-e-Mohammed operative and suicide bomber who was behind the February 2019 attack on a CRPF bus on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, killing 40 personnel.
The central agency arrested Tariq Ahmed Shah, 50, and his daughter Insha Jan, 23, from their home in Hakirpora Tuesday morning. They were produced before a NIA Court in Jammu, which remanded them to 10-day police custody.
According to NIA, the video eulogising Dar as a suicide bomber was shot in Shah’s house and later released by JeM. Sources said the duo had been sheltering JeM operatives in their house since 2018 and were in contact with Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Umar Farooq, a key Pulwama conspirator, who was later killed in an encounter.
This is the second arrest in the case by NIA. Last week, the agency had arrested Shakir Bashir Magrey, a furniture shop owner at Hajibal in Pulwama, for allegedly helping Dar and other Pulwama conspirators in conducting reconnaissance for the attack and assembling the IED used in the blast. Shakir’s family had told The Indian Express that he was in police custody since December 7 last year.
According to NIA, Tariq Ahmed Shah worked as a tipper-driver in South Kashmir. “During initial interrogation, accused Tariq Ahmed Shah has disclosed that his house at Hakripora, Pulwama was used by Adil Ahmed Dar (Fidayeen); Mohd. Umar Farooq, a Pakistani terrorist and IED maker; Kamran another Pakistani terrorist (both were later killed in encounters with security forces); Sameer Ahmed Dar, a Jaish-e-Mohd terrorist from Pulwama and Mohd. Ismail alias Ibrahim alias Adnan, a Pakistani terrorist,” an NIA statement said.
Shah facilitated planning of the heinous attack on the CRPF convoy, the NIA said. “His house was also used by the above mentioned terrorists for preparing and recording of video of Fidayeen Adil Ahmed Dar, which was released by Jaish-e-Mohammad soon after the Pulwama attack,” NIA said.
It claimed that Shah’s daughter Insha used to cook for the terrorists and provided certain other logistics. It said the terrorists had stayed at Shah’s house “on more than 15 occasions for 2-4 days each time” during the year 2018-2019. “Initial interrogation has revealed that Ms. Insha Jan was in constant touch with Mohd. Umar Farooq, Pakistani IED maker and was in communication with him over telephone and other social media applications,” the agency said.
The arrests come after a year of lull in the investigations where all identified accused in the case were either killed in the attack or gunned down in encounters. Last week after the agency arrested Magrey in the case, it was revealed that the bombers had bought material for assembling the bomb from an e-commerce website.
At their home in Hakripora village, Tariq’s wife Naseema told The Indian Express that her daughter and husband were taken away for “questioning”. “They [security] had come earlier as well for questioning. Today, they took both of them. My We appeal to the government to release them. We don’t know where they are currently, whether they are in Srinagar or outside the Valley.”
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