India

Pulwama attack case: NIA arrests Kashmiri sawmill owner for providing mobile phones to militants

Pulwama attack case: NIA arrests Kashmiri sawmill owner for providing mobile phones to militants
pulwama terror attack, pulwama attack accused arrested, nia arrest pulwama attack, jem operative arrested, shakhir bashir magrey jaish e mohammed, india news, indian express Pulwama terror attack happened in February 2019 and claimed the lives of 40 CRPF jawans. (Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi/File)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a person in Jammu and Kashmir for providing shelter and mobile phones to terrorists involved in the 2019 Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy that left 40 jawans dead. This is the seventh arrest in the case so far.

The accused has been identified as Bilal Ahmed Kuchey from Kakapora in Pulwama. On Monday, the agency produced him before the NIA Court in Jammu and got a 10 day remand for his custodial interrogation.

Kuchey, who runs a sawmill, had harboured and provided logistical support to Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants involved in the Pulwama attack, the agency said. The main perpetrators of the attack had stayed in his house. “Kuchey is a wealthy businessman in Pulwama and comes from the same area as that of Adil Ahmed Dar who drove the bomb-laden car and exploded it near the CRPF bus killing 40 personnel. He purchased high-end mobile phones for the planners and the attackers and also gave them shelter. He is also known to our first arrest in the case, Shakir Bashir Magrey, who had conducted reconnaissance for the attack,” an NIA officer said.

He had further introduced them to other Over Ground Workers (OGWs) who provided safe houses for their stay and planning the attack, the NIA said.

“He provided the JeM terrorists with high-end mobile phones which were used by them to communicate with the Pakistan-based JeM leadership as well as among themselves for giving final touches to their planning and for execution of the attack. Further, mobile phone provided by him was also used for recording the video clip of Fidayeen Adil Ahmed Dar, which became viral after the attack,” the NIA said in a statement.

At least 40 CRPF jawans were killed in a terror attack on February 14 at Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir. The CRPF men were travelling in a bus, part of a convoy of over a thousand security personnel when an explosive-laden SUV rammed into the bus and exploded. Terror group Jaish-e-Mujahideen had claimed responsibility for the attack.

In March this year, the NIA sleuths had arrested five persons for their alleged involvement in the case. The sixth suspect, Budgam resident Mohammed Iqbal Rather, was arrested on July 2 for allegedly transporting Pakistani bomb-maker Mohammed Umer from the Jammu border to Pulwama.

© The Indian Express (P) Ltd