NIA arrests driver who helped ferry Udhampur terrorists

NIA arrests driver who helped ferry Udhampur terrorists

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday arrested a Kashmiri truck driver accused of helping Pakistani militants perpetrate the Udhampur attack earlier this month, in which two BSF personnel were killed and 11 injured.

Sources said the driver, identified as 31-year-old Khurshid Ahmad Bhat alias Surya, a resident of Charsoo in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, had ferried terrorist Naved Yaqub and his accomplice Moomin to Udhampur in his truck a day before the attack.

“He is an over-ground worker of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, and had served more than two years in prison for drug-smuggling and stone-pelting. Bhat was evading arrest, but was finally nabbed from a hideout in the Pinglina village of Pulwama,” they said, adding that the NIA team had been looking for him after revelations by Naved, who is in Srinagar in the anti-terror agency’s custody.

A senior police officer told Deccan Herald the NIA made the arrest after receiving the go-ahead from its chief Sharad Kumar, who was here to review the case's progress.
“The NIA team has made several arrests in Pulwama, as well as the Kaimoh region of the Kulgam district. While around six people have been detained in the Khudwani area of Kaimoh, two others, including a truck driver, have been arrested from Awantipora in Pulwama,” he said.

Those arrested include some close relatives of active and slain militants.
The NIA was goven the Udhampur case on August 7, two days after Naved and Momin attacked the BSF convoy. While Momin was killed in retaliatory fire, Naved was captured by locals he had held hostage, and later handed over to the police.
 

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