NIA’s first arrest in Pulwama attack is a Jaish operative who helped suicide bomber
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday arrested an operative of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), in the first major breakthrough in the Pulwama terror attack case that had killed at least 40 CRPF soldiers on February 14, 2019.
The accused, Shakir Bashir Magrey is a resident of Hajibal, Kakapora, in Pulwama. A furniture shop owner, Shakir Bashir Magrey provided shelter and other logistical help to suicide-bomber Adil Ahmad Dar. He was introduced to Adil Ahmad Dar in mid-2018 by a Pakistani terrorist called Mohammad Umar Farooq after which he became a full-time over-ground worker of JeM.
During the initial interrogation, Magrey revealed that on several occasions, he collected and delivered arms, ammunition, cash and other explosive material to various JeM terrorists, including those involved in last year’s horrific Pulwama attack.
Magrey had given shelter to Adil Ahmad Dar and Pakistani terrorist Mohammad Umar Farooq in his house from late 2018 till the attack in February 2019 and also helped them to prepare the IED which was used in the terror attack. His shop is located near Lethpora Bridge, and as advised by Mohammad Umar, he started carrying out a reconnaissance of the movement of CRPF convoys on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in January 2019.
He also played a vital role in informing Mohammad Umar and Adil Ahmad Dar about the movement of CRPF troops in the area. It was Magrey who had modified the Maruti Eeco car and fitted the explosives in the vehicle in early February 2019.
During the probe, the make, model and number of the vehicle that had been used in the attack was ascertained by NIA to be a Maruti Eeco car through forensic examination of the tiny remnants of the car. The remnants had been collected from the spot during extended searches. The accused during his interrogation has corroborated this.
The explosives used in the attack were found to be Ammonium Nitrate, Nitro-Glycerin and RDX through forensic investigation. Investigation also confirmed the identity of the suicide bomber to be Adil Ahmad Dar through DNA matching with that of his father.
Other terrorists involved in the Pulwama attack were Muddasir Ahmad Khan, Pakistani terrorists Muhammad Umar Farooq and IED expert Kamran. Both of them were killed in March 2019.The owner of the car Sajjad Ahmad Bhat and Qari Yassir, another JeM Commander were also involved in the terror attack.
Last year, at least 40 CRPF personnel had been killed when an IED-laden vehicle driven by suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar had rammed into the security convoy, which was moving from Jammu towards Srinagar.
Magrey was produced before the NIA Special Court at Jammu on Friday and has been remanded to 15 days of NIA custody for detailed interrogation.