NIA arrests key JeM operative for harboring Pulwama suicide bomber

Srinagar: National Investigation Agency (NIA) achieved a breakthrough on Friday when they arrested a key Over-Ground Worker (OGW) who had provided shelter and logistical support to Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar before he rammed his Eeco vehicle into the CRPF convoy at Lethpora in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14 last year.

More than 40 CRPF soldiers were killed and many others injured when Dar rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into the CRPF convoy sparking anger across the country. In retaliation, the Indian Air Force crossed the LoC and bombed terror camps in Balakot on February 27.

A year on, NIA arrested 22-year-old Shakir Bashir Magrey who had provided shelter and other logistical assistance to the suicide-bomber Adil Ahmad Dar.

“During interrogation, Shakir Bashir Magrey has revealed that he had harbored Adil Ahmad Dar and Pakistani terrorist Mohammad Umar Farooq in his house from late 2018 till the attack in February 2019. He said he also assisted them in the preparation of IED”, said an NIA spokesman in a statement.

A furniture shop owner, Shakir was introduced to Adil by Pakistani terrorist Mohammad Umar Farooq in 2018. During interrogation, he 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.

“His shop is located near Lethpora Bridge. On the instructions of Mohammad Umar, he started conducting reconnaissance of CRPF convoy movements on Jammu-Srinagar Highway in January 2019. Further, he was also involved in modifying Maruti Ecco car and fitting the IED in it in early February 2019”, the spokesman said.

NIA spokesman said forensic tests have proved that Ammonium Nitrate, Nitro-Glycerin, and RDX were used in the explosion. “Suicide bomber’s DNA also matched with that of his father”, he said.

Prime accused in the attack Muddasir Ahmad Khan, JeM’s Divisional Commander for South Kashmir, was killed by security forces in an operation on March 11, 2019. Two Pakistani terrorists including Muhammad Umar Farooq and IED expert Kamran were killed on March 29 last year.

Owner of the car, Sajjad Ahmad Bhat was killed on June 16 last year while Qari Yassir, JeM’s Commander for Kashmir, was killed on January 25 2020.

Ishfaq Ul Hassan

An accredited journalist with 22 years of professional experience, Ishfaq-Ul-Hassan has worked as a reporter based in Kashmir for two decades. He has covered various beats including militancy, politics, defence, minorities, social issues, religious groups and women issues in Kashmir. He had previously worked as Special Correspondent in Jammu and Kashmir for DNA (Daily News and Analysis) Newspaper for 13 years. Ishfaq is also associated with the New Delhi- based television company `Asia Pacific Communication Associates’ which produced the famous series “Subah-Bakhar-Kashmir” for satellite Kashmir channel of Doordarshan. In 2004, he was awarded the Charkha-Sanjoy Ghosh Fellowship for Peace and Development for his research on families divided across the LOC in Kashmir.

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