Updated: March 3, 2020 3:56:06 pm
In another breakthrough in the Pulwama terror case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a father-daughter duo from Jammu and Kashmir’s Lethpora. This is the second arrest by the agency after registering the case more than a year ago.
The development comes days after NIA arrested 22-year-old Shakir Bashir Magrey, a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) operative, who allegedly tracked the movement of security convoys and helped assemble the bomb used in the attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel in February last year.
Magrey was produced before the NIA Special Court in Jammu Friday and remanded in the agency’s custody for 15 days. NIA sources said Magrey allegedly drove the bomb-laden car till 500 m from the attack site before handing it over to Adil Ahmed Dar, who was identified by the agency as the suicide bomber.
However, the family of Magrey has claimed that he had been in police custody since December 7 last year. Shakir Bashir Magrey’s mother Jameela told The Indian Express that in the over two months he had been in custody, Shakir had come home for just an hour, on February 17, before re-arrest.
Second arrest in over a year by NIA
The arrests come with the Pulwama case being stuck for several months now as all the identified accused are either dead or in Pakistan. Even though NIA identified the attacker and traced the car used in the attack to its owner, it could not move beyond as the attacker died in the suicide attack and his local handler and car owner were killed in an encounter.
The NIA had identified the other accused in the attack as Muddasir Ahmad Khan, a JeM leader who was killed by security forces on March 11, 2019; Pakistani terrorists Muhammad Umar Farooq and IED expert Kamran, who were killed on March 29, 2019; Sajjad Ahmad Bhat, who owned the car used and was killed on June 16, 2019; and, Qari Yassir, a JeM commander who was killed on January 25, 2020.
Pulwama attack and Balakot airstrike
After the terror attack in Pulwama, for which JeM claimed responsibility, India retaliated by dropping bombs on a terror camp in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and engaged the Pakistan Air Force in aerial combat.
The confrontation escalated after Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by Pakistan after downing his MiG-21 fighter jet. However, diplomatic outreach by India and global powers led to Islamabad releasing him after two days.
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