How Pulwama attack was planned by Jaish-e-Mohammad

NIA, today, filed a chargesheet against 19 accused in the Pulwama terror attack case

pulwama-attack-nia (Clockwise from top) Mohammad Umar Farooq, Sameer Dar and Adil Dar (from left to right) with faces smeared with Aluminium powder while making the IED; JeM chief Masood Azhar; Farooq with Ammar Alvi alias Chacha alias Chota Masood

The attack on the CRPF convoy, which was moving from Jammu towards Srinagar on February 14, at Lethpura, Pulwama, is one of the bloodiest terrorist strikes on the armed forces in recent history. Forty soldiers died and eight grievously injured in the attack carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist Adil Ahmad Dar using an IED-laden vehicle.

The NIA has filed 13,800-page chargesheet against 19 accused in NIA Special Court at Jammu. The 19 named are:

1)       Masood Azhar, 52 years, Pakistani national (Absconding)

2)      Rauf Asghar, 47 years, Pakistani national (Absconding)

3)      Ammar Alvi, 46 years, Pakistani national (Absconding)

4)      Shakir Bashir, 24 Years, r/o Kakapora, Pulwama, J&K. (Arrested)

5)      Insha Jan, 22 Years r/o Kakapora, Pulwama, J&K (Arrested)

6)      Peer Tariq Ahmed Shah, 53 Years, r/o Kakapora, Pulwama, J&K (Arrested)

7)      Waiz-ul-Islam, 20 Years, r/o Srinagar, J&K (Arrested)

8)      Mohammad Abbas Rather, 31 Years, r/o Kakapura, Pulwama, J&K. (Arrested)

9)      Bilal Ahmed Kuchhey, 28 years, r/o Hajibal, Lalhar, Pulwama, J&K (Arrested)

10)     Mohammad Iqbal Rather, 25 years, r/o, Charar-e-Shareef, Budgam, J&K. (Arrested)

11)      Mohammad Ismail, 25 years, r/o Pakistani national (Absconding)

12)     Sameer Ahmad Dar, 22 years, r/o Kakapora, Pulwama, Kashmir (Absconding)

13)     Ashaq Ahmed Nengroo, 33 years, r/o Rajpura, Pulwama. (Absconding)

14)     Adil Ahmed Dar, 21 years, r/o Kakapora, Pulwama, Kashmir (Killed).

15)     Muhammad Umar Farooq, 24 years, r/o Pakistani national (Killed)

16)     Mohammad 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)

As per the NIA investigation, Pulwama attack was a result of “well-planned criminal conspiracy hatched by Pakistan-based leadership of terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad”. The JeM leaders are learnt to have been sending their cadres to the terrorist training camps of Al-Qaida-Taliban-JeM and Haqqani-JeM in Afghanistan to be trained in explosives and other terrorist tactics.

ALSO READ: Pulwama attack exposes chinks in the armour of the Indian intelligence agencies

The main accused, Mohammad Umar Farooq, also visited Afghanistan for explosives training in 2016-17. He infiltrated into India through the International Border in Jammu-Samba sector in April 2018, and took over as JeM commander of Pulwama. Farooq, along with his Pakistani associates Kamran, Ismail alias Saifullah, and Qari Yasir, and local associates Sameer Dar and Adil Ahmad Dar, planned and prepared for the attack on security forces using IEDs.

Accused Shakir Bashir, Insha Jan, Peer Tariq Ahmed Shah and Bilal Ahmed Kuchhey provided all logistics and harboured the JeM terrorists in their houses. From December 2018 onward, Shakir Bashir started doing reconnaissance of the movement and deployment of security forces on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.

Mudasir Ahmad Khan arranged Gelatin sticks and handed them over to Shakir Bashir. RDX was brought by the Pakistani terrorists who infiltrated into India. Shakir Bashir collected the explosive material - RDX, Gelatin sticks, Aluminium power and Calcium-Ammonium Nitrate - and stocked them at his house for making the IED. 

In January 2019, Sajjad Ahmed Bhat purchased a Maruti EECO car to carry out the IED attack. The car was kept in the frontyard of Shakir Bashir’s house. Waiz-ul-Islam ordered 40kg of Aluminium powder from his Amazon account on the directions of accused Ismail alias Saifullah and gave it to him.

Towards the end of January 2019, Farooq, Sameer Dar and Adil Dar made the propaganda video clip of the suicide attack at Insha Jan’s house which was released immediately after the attack.

In the first week of February 2019, Farooq, Sameer Dar, Adil Dar and Shakir Bashir made the IED using RDX, Calcium-Ammonium Nitrate, Gelatin Sticks and Aluminium Powder and assembled it in two containers, one weighing around 160kg and the second one weighing around 40kg. The two IED containers were fitted in Maruti EECO car and were ready by the morning of February 6, 2019. However, because of heavy snowfall, the National Highway got closed for the vehicular movement.

On February 14, 2019, as the National Highway opened, Shakir Bashir drove Adil Dar till the National Highway, after which the latter took charge of the vehicle and drove on to the National Highway and carried out the suicide attack by ramming the Maruti EECO car laden with 200kg of high-grade explosives into a bus of the CRPF convoy, resulting in 40 CRPF personnel getting killed and damage worth around Rs 33 lakh to the public property.

ALSO READ: The saga of Masood Azhar, the man who started it all

The NIA investigation has revealed that the Pakistan-based JeM leadership consisting of Masood Azhar, Rauf Asghar and Ammar Alvi alias Chacha alias Chota Masood, were continuously giving directions and guidance to the Pakistani JeM terrorists, who had infiltrated into India, both before and after the attack. They had also planned to carry out another suicide attack which got averted due to India’s retaliatory air-strikes at the Jaish camps at Balakot, Pakistan, and also due to the killing of main conspirator Farooq by the security forces.

The NIA investigation also revealed a well-crafted mechanism by Pakistani establishment to push terrorists into the Indian territory from the launch pads located in Shakargarh (Pakistan), opposite Samba-Kathua sector in Jammu.

(With inputs from Namrata Biji Ahuja)

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