NEW DELHI :
In a major breakthrough for security and intelligence agencies, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday arrested a key operative in the Pulwama suicide blast case.
More than a year after Jaish-e-Mohammad operative Adil Ahmad Dar plunged an RDX laden vehicle into a convoy of central paramilitary forces in Pulwama, killing 40 personnel, the agency arrested the militant outfit's overground worker Shakir Bashir Magrey.
The agency has said that Magrey, who owns a furniture shop, "provided shelter and other logistical assistance to the suicide-bomber Adil Ahmad Dar. He was introduced to Adil Ahmad Dar in mid-2018 by a Pakistani terrorist Mohammad Umar Farooq and he became a full-time OGW of JeM."
Investigations by NIA revealed that during Magrey's initial interrogation, "he has disclosed that on several occasions, he collected and delivered arms, ammunition, cash and explosive material to the JeM terrorists including those involved in Pulwama attack."
Magrey has also revealed that he had harboured Adil Ahmad Dar and Pakistani terrorist Mohammad Umar Farooq in his house from late 2018 till the attack in February 2019, and assisted them in the preparing the IED which was later used in the attack.
"His shop is located near Lethpora bridge, and as advised by Mohammad Umar, he started conducting reconnaissance of the movement of CRPF convoy on Jammu-Srinagar Highway in January 2019, and informed Mohammad Umar and Adil Ahmad Dar about it. Further, he was also involved in modifying the Maruti Eeco car and fitting the IED in it in early February,2019," the NIA said on Friday evening.
Following the attack, the NIA decoded the make, model and number of the car through forensic examination of the tiny remnants of the car from the blast site at Lethpora.
"This has been corroborated by accused Shakir Bashir Magrey. The explosives used in the attack were determined to be Ammonium Nitrate, Nitro-Glycerin and RDX through forensic investigation. Investigation has also confirmed the identity of the suicide bomber to be Adil Ahmad Dar through DNA matching with that of his father," the agency said, adding that, "Other key terrorists involved in the attack have been found to be Muddasir Ahmad Khan, (JeM’s Divisional Commander of South Kashmir killed in an operation by security forces on 11-03-2019) and Pakistani terrorists Muhammad Umar Farooq and IED expert Kamran, (both killed on 29-03-2019) the owner of the car viz. Sajjad Ahmad Bhat r/o Marhama, Anantnag (killed on 16-06-2019) and Qari Yassir, JeM’s Commander for Kashmir (killed on 25-01-2020)."