NIA files charge sheet in Pulwama attack case; names Jaish chief Masood Azhar, his brothers and Pakistan
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday filed a charge sheet in the February 2019 Pulwama terror attack case in which it named 19 people who it said carried out the bombing at Pakistan’s behest.
The 13,500-page charge sheet was filed before a special NIA court in Jammu.
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brothers Abdul Rauf Asghar and Ammar Alvi, and nephew Umar Farooq are among those named in the charge sheet by the agency. Farooq was the son of IC-814 hijacking accused Ibrahim Athar who was in India to execute the Pulwama conspiracy and was killed in March 2019 in an encounter by security forces.
Forty Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in the attack that brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war.
Officials say that the charge sheet has irrefutable evidence - technical, material and circumstantial - on Pakistan’s role in the attack. It cites the roles of the JeM leadership and the arrested accused in the attack and has details like chats, calls details of terrorists.
NIA probe has revealed that Pakistan used Adil Ahmad Dar, a local resident who rammed an explosive-laden car into a CRPF convoy in Pulwama, as a suicide bomber to project the attack as a result of a home-grown militancy against “India’s occupation of Kashmir”, one of the officers said.
Azhar, who founded JeM in 2000 after he was freed from an Indian prison in exchange for 155 passengers of a hijacked aircraft, and Asghar have been named as the primary accused in the charge sheet.
Azhar was among those India designated as individual terrorists in 2019. The move came following an amendment to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which allows the government to designate individuals as terrorists. The US has similar laws for such designations and the 2019 move opened an added avenue for joint action against terrorists.
The 19 people named by the NIA in its charge sheet are:
1. Masood Azhar Alvi, 52 years, Pakistani national
2. Rouf Asgar Alvi, 47 years, Pakistani national
3. Ammar Alvi, 46 years, Pakistani national
4. Shakir Bashir, 24 Years, r/o Kakapora, Pulwama, J&K.
5. Insha Jan, 22 Years r/o Kakapora, Pulwama, J&K
6. Peer Tariq Ahmed Shah, 53 Years, r/o Kakapora, Pulwama, J&K
7. Waiz-ul-Islam, 20 Years, r/o Srinagar, J&K
8. Mohd Abbas Rather, 31 Years, r/o Kakapura, Pulwama, J&K.
9. Bilal Ahmed Kuchhey, 28 years, r/o Hajibal, Lalhar, Pulwama, J&K
10. Mohd Iqbal Rather, 25 years, r/o, Charar-e-Shareef, Budgam, J&K.
11. Mohd Ismail, 25 years, r/o Pakistani national
12. Sameer Ahmad Dar, 22 years, r/o Kakapora, Pulwama, Kashmir
13. Ashaq Ahmed Nengroo, 33 years, r/o Rajpura, Pulwama
14. Adil Ahmed Dar, 21 years, r/o Kakapora, Pulwama, Kashmir (Killed)
15. Muhammad Umar Farooq, 24 years, r/o Pakistani national (Killed)
16. Mohd Kamran Ali, 25 years, r/o Pakistani national (Killed)
17. Sajjad Ahmed Bhat, 19 years, r/o Bijbehera, Anantnag (Killed)
18. Mudasir Ahmad Khan, 24 years, r/o Awantipura, Pulwama (Killed)
19. Qari Yasir, r/o Pakistani national (Killed)