NIA gets custody of 5 accused behind LeT militant’s escape from Srinagar hospital
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NIA gets custody of 5 accused behind LeT militant’s escape from Srinagar hospital

The five men had allegedly helped LeT terrorist Naveed Jhatt escape from the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in Srinagar on February 6.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2018 22:34 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Naveed Jhatt,Srinagar hospital attack,Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital
Naveed Jhatt, 20, has received commando training at the Lashkar’s headquarters in Muridke before sneaking into India in 2012 as a teenager.(PTI File Photo)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday got the custody of the five men arrested for allegedly helping Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Naveed Jhatt escape from a hospital in Srinagar earlier this month.

The court of Srinagar’s chief judicial magistrate granted the agency a transit remand of two days of Shakeel Ahmed Bhat, Tika Khan, Syed Tajamul Islam, M Shafi Wani and Jan Mohammad Ganai — all residents of Pulwama in south Kashmir.

The central agency will produce the five accused before the special court in Jammu on Friday.

“We will seek police remand of the five accused for further interrogation,” NIA inspector general Alok Mittal said.

The accused were arrested a day after the dramatic escape of Jhatt from state-run Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital where he was taken for a medical checkup on February 6. According to the police, some accused took positions in and around the hospital on the day of the attack, mingled with patients and attendants and even allegedly handed over a pistol to Jhatt.

Jhatt was arrested in 2014 and managed to get a stay order on his transfer from Srinagar’s central jail to another jail outside the Valley in 2016 and subsequently in 2017.

Police believe that LeT was desperate to get Jhatt out as all top brass of the outfit was killed.

“First Abu Dujana was killed and later Abu Ismail. After this LeT has not named any other commander, their desperation to get Naveed Jhatt out can mean he is a potential commander,” Muneer Khan, additional director general of police, said after the arrests.

First Published: Feb 15, 2018 17:37 IST