NIA chargesheet points to suspected LeT operative’s Pakistan link

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The NIA on Friday chargesheeted Pakistani national and suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) member Bahadur Ali alias Saifullah, for attempting to attack security forces in Jammu and Kashmir. The chargesheet points to his alleged link with Pakistan.

The chargesheet was filed in the court of District Judge Amar Nath in the Patiala House court complex here under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Explosives Act, Arms Act and Foreigners Act, among other laws.

The judge listed the matter for consideration on January 18.

Ali, currently in judicial custody, was arrested on July 25, 2016, from a hideout in Yaham village in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir.

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NIA Inspector General Alok Mittal said the seizures effected from Ali as well as his interrogation revealed a “clear attempt of Pakistan” to foment terrorism.

“Our chargesheet clearly outlines the evidence we have collected in the form of training that Ali received in PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir), the way he and his associates received continuous directions from their handlers, and other support system to help them,” he said.

“Everything bears the stamp of Pakistan. They (terrorists) have been trained in Pakistan, handled from there and the handler was continuously in touch with them from there,” Mittal added.

After his arrest, Ali led the police to a cache of arms and ammunitions buried in a nearby forest, the NIA said.

The chargesheet claimed, “Ali a trained terrorist, practiced in the craft of reading maps using grid references and deft in communicating through wireless set by pairing mobile phone to avoid interception”.

Along with two accomplices Abu Saad and Abu Darda, Ali infiltrated into the Indian territory from across the border but subsequently on June 20 lost contact with the duo while looking for food separately. Abu Saad and Abu Darda were never caught.

“They infiltrated India on the intervening night of June 12 and 13 last year carrying arms and ammunition, navigation equipment and other articles,” said the chargesheet.

“They were instructed by their LeT handlers based in Pakistan or PoK to carry out attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and at different places in the country.”

A pocket diary allegedly seized from Ali revealed the names of places where he was instructed to carry out terror attacks — Delhi, Rafiabad, Kunzar, Tangmarg, Budgam, Poonch, Jammu and Udhampur.

At the time of his arrest, Ali was carrying “one compass, one ICOM wireless set, one matrix sheet bearing codes, two unicode sheets (handwritten pocket diary pages), bearing text written in coded form, Indian currency of Rs 23,000 (of which three notes were found to be fake), one GPS set and one map sheet”.

Ali’s instructors, meanwhile, told him that the LeT cadres had been successful in fuelling large-scale agitation in Kashmir after Eid and subsequent to the death of militant Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016.

Kashmir plunged into disorder as hundreds of young men protested by hurling stones at the police and army personnel, the chargesheet said.

Ali was later instructed by the LeT to mix with the stone-pelting agitators and throw grenades at the Indian forces.

Ali’s revealation that he was to receive freshly infiltrated terrorists led to a search operation in Kashmir’s Bandi Monabal by the state police and the army. In the operation, four unidentified terrorists were killed.

The NIA chargesheet said Ali was constantly in touch with Alfa-3 — the LeT control station based in PoK.

Reacting to the development, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said: “The perpetrators of terrorism cannot for long escape from the adverse outcomes of terrorism.”

As for Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s threat of action against India, Singh said: “That kind of rhetoric is ultimately going to harm Pakistan more than India.”

“As far as the evidence is concerned, the entire world now knows the epicentre of terrorism, at least in this part of Asia and in the Indian subcontinent, is none other than Pakistan,” the minister said.

“There has been evidence from time to time to prove Pakistan’s involvement in perpeterating, promoting and sponsoring terrorism on Indian side, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. And I think this is yet one another edition to this long sequence of evidences.”

He added, “This is another opportunity for the entire world to wake up to the kind of terrorism originating from Pakistan.”

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