NIA gets vital clues on Pulwama kingpin

JeM terrorist held for helping the suicide bomber.

SRINAGAR: National Investigation Agency (NIA) is learnt to be inching closer towards a breakthrough in the Pulwama terror attack in which more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed a year ago.

The sources in the NIA said that with more arrests made and raids conducted across the Valley over the past couple of weeks, the agency has accumulated “very crucial evidence” on when the attack was planned, who were the mastermind and how and who executed it.

Some more people are likely to be arrested before the NIA comes out with a detailed account of the investigations and moves a designated court with the charge-sheet against the accused, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the NIA on Friday said that it has arrested an operative of Jaish-e-Muhammed for his alleged involvement in the Pulwama attack.

The accused has been identified by it as 22-year-old Shakir Bashir Magray, a furniture shop owner and resident of Hajibal village of Pulwama's Kakapora area. The NIA said that he allegedly provided shelter and other logistical assistance to Adil Dar.

The NIA said that Magray was introduced to Adil Dar in mid 2018 by Pakistani militant Mohammad Umar Farooq after which he became a full-time Over-Ground Worker (OGW) of the Jaish.

On February 14 last year, Adil Ahmed Dar alias ‘Waqas Commando’, an alleged Jaish-e-Muhammad cadre, rammed an explosive laden Maruti Eeco into a bus which was part of a convoy of the CRPF at Lethapora in Jammu and Kashmir’s southern Pulwama district, killing and maiming security personnel on board.

The unparalleled suicide attack threw up a tough challenge before the security forces containing a three decade old insurgency in J&K. They soon restructured their deployment procedures, bolstered surveillance networks and began to make an all out effort to improve their strategic intelligence gathering capabilities.

The agency had on Thursday officially confirmed that “significant leads” into the Pulwama terror attack investigation have emerged and that a “breakthrough” in the case is expected shortly.

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