A Special Court on Monday allowed NIA’s plea seeking its permission to conduct polygraph test on suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Showkat Ahmed Bhat, arrested in connection with the Udhampur terror attack case. Bhat was brought to Delhi by the NIA on Sunday.
Bhat was produced before District Judge Amar Nath during an in-camera proceeding where the National Investigating Agency (NIA) said that a polygraph test of the accused was required to be conducted to unearth larger conspiracy of the banned teror group.
While allowing NIA’s plea, the court said that Bhat’s polygraph test will be conducted at Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in New Delhi on Tuesday.
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The investigating agency, in its plea, contended that Bhat was giving inconsistent statements during his interrogation which is hampering the probe in the case.
“Accused Showkat Ahmed Bhat.. presently in police custody of NIA at Delhi and his statement is having no consistency on various occasions/points which is hampering the leads in the investigation of the instant case.
“The polygraph test of the above accused is required to be conducted to get concrete leads regarding larger conspiracy in the interest of the case,” the NIA said.
It further said that Bhat is showing his consent to undergo the test and necessary orders may be passed for conducting the test by an expert at CFSL.
“It is therefore prayed before this court that necessary order may be passed to the prosecuting agency (NIA) for conducting the polygraph test of accused Showkat Ahmed Bhat by an expert at CFSL/CBI, CGO Complex Lodhi Road, New Delhi on September 8 for the purpose of investigation during his police custody,” the agency said.
It also sought direction to the Director of CFSL for conducting the polygraph test on Bhat.
The NIA also said that during custodial interrogation of arrested accused Mohammad Naveed, a Pakistani national, certain facts have come to light regarding the larger conspiracy behind the Udhampur terror attack which includes the entire network of conspirators, supporters, financers, facilitators and handlers of Naveed.
It said that Bhat had facilitated Naveed and three other LeT operatives “by transporting them from near the Indo-Pak border till the place of their hideout in district Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir).”
The NIA said that during Naveed’s interrogation it has emerged that Bhat was part and parcel of the larger conspiracy hatched by LeT to wage war against the country.
“Accused Showkat Ahmed Bhat possesses the knowledge of intricate details of the conspiracy being furthered by the senior functionaries of the LeT, who are operating from Pakistan and various parts of state of Jammu and Kashmir,” the agency said.
“During the custodial examination of the accused, certain facts regarding larger conspiracy behind the instant terror act which includes but is not limited to the entire network of conspirators, supporters, financers, facilitators and handlers of arrested accused Mohammad Naveed and other co-accused persons came to light which needs to be further verified/ strengthened by conducting the polygraph test of accused person Showkat Ahmed Bhat,” it said.
36-year-old Bhat was brought here yesterday for a “scientific analysis” of his statements.
A resident of Pulwama in south Kashmir, Bhat was arrested on September 1 by NIA which is probing the case in which two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists from Pakistan attacked a BSF bus in Jammu’s Udhampur and killed its two personnel.
One of the attackers identified as Mohammed Noman alias Momin was killed in retaliatory fire, while another Mohammed Naveed was captured alive by villagers and handed over to police.
Bhat was taken in custody by Jammu and Kashmir police immediately after the terror strike on August 5 and was booked under sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms Act.
NIA said Bhat was allegedly involved in transporting a group of four LeT terrorists–Mohammad Naveed, Zhargham alias Mohammed Bhai,Abu Okasa and Noman from Baba Reshi in Baramulla district to south Kashmir soon after they had infiltrated India from PoK.