New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday filed a charge sheet in the terror attack case against four accused persons, namely Maulana Masood Azhar of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar, Shahid Latif, and Kashif Jan, the main handler of the Pathankot attackers. All four are residents of Pakistan.
The four have been charged for commission of offences under sections 120B, 121, 121A, 302, 307, 364, 365, 367, 368, 397 of the Indian Penal Code, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, section 25, 27 of the Arms Act, the Explosive Substances Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, in the chargesheet.
The chargesheet states that the offences as noted above were also established against one Nasir Hussain, Abu Bakar, Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum (who was the main attacker).
Prosecution against these attackers was recommended to be abated since they are dead. A Red Corner Notice (RCN) has been issued by the Interpol for the arrest of Azhar, Asghar and Latif.
It was established during investigation that the terrorists entered into a criminal conspiracy to infiltrate into the territory of India and to commit terrorist attack and wage war against the Government of India, said a press release.
In pursuance of the conspiracy, the accused persons, their leaders, handlers and co-conspirators including Maulana Masood Azhar, Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar, Kashif Jan and Shahid Latif, set up training camps in Pakistan and the PoK area, for recruitment and training of terrorists, in order to carry out terror attacks on the Indian soil.
During the training, these terrorists were made to undergo extensive motivational, physical, military and tactical training regimen, to radicalise them and to prepare them for jihad.
JeM sent four terrorists, now all deceased, from across Pakistan on December 30, 2015. They illegally crossed the Indo-Pak international border through the forest area near the Simbal Border Outpost. Empty food packets manufactured in Pakistan and other food articles from Pakistan were recovered from the forest area near the Simbal Border Outpost, during investigation.
During investigation, NIA investigators collected evidence in terms of statements of the witnesses to establish that the terrorists had been trained, motivated and radicalised by Maulana Masood Azhar and Mufti Abdul Rauf. The NIA also has legal intercepts and statements of witnesses, which show that Kashif Jan and Shahid Latif had guided, equipped and launched the four terrorists, who carried out the terrorist attack at the Air Force Station.
The charge sheet also hinted of lax security at the strategic IAF base in Pathankot and said that the four terrorists -- Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar, Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayoom-- who were Pakistani nationals belonging to Jaish, had entered the premises at 0840 hours of January one and entrenched themselves in a drain and adjacent shed belonging to Military Engineering Services.
The terrorists were engaged in a gunfight only at 0320 hours of January two, 19 hours after they had entered the IAF base.
The charge sheet is likely to be used by India in advocating its case for imposing sanctions against Azhar, released in 1999 in exchange of IC-814 hijacked Indian Airlines Plane, under the United Nations anti-terror law, officials said.
The terror case saw an unusual move from India and Pakistan as Islamabad had sent its probe team to Pathankot.
They were handed over all the documents and allowed to question everyone except security personnel involved in foiling the attempts of the terrorists.
However, the Pakistani team, upon their return, claimed that India neither shared much of evidence nor allowed it to interrogate the security personnel involved in dealing with the attack.
7 people were martyred and 37 injured during the resulting operation against the terrorists....