SMHS attack: Court grants 2-day transit remand of accused to NIA

SMHS attack: Court grants 2-day transit remand of accused to NIA

A local court on Thursday granted transit remand of five accused to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the escape of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant Naveed Jatt, alias Abu Hanzulla from police custody on February 6.

The Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar granted two days transit remand of the accused, who were arrested by the J&K police last week, to the NIA. "The five accused will be produced before the NIA Special Court in Jammu tomorrow (Friday) for seeking police custody," inspector general (IG) NIA Alok Mittal told reporters.

The NIA team, headed by Mittal, after registering a case in the incident had reached Srinagar on Tuesday to probe Hanzulla escape case. "Now the NIA will grill the accused at its Delhi Headquarter. The probe agency wants to investigate whether any police official was involved in Hanzulla's escape," sources said.

On February 6, two policemen were killed in the attack staged by militants to free Hanzulla, who had come to the SHMS hospital for a medical check-up from central jail, Srinagar. "The NIA will ascertain as to how the weapon was handed over to Hanzulla and whether it was provided to him in the jail or somewhere else. The NIA will have a detailed analysis of phone call data and conversation on WhatsApp between the accused and their handlers across the border," they revealed.

Security agencies suspect insiders role in the audacious attack and subsequent escape of Hanzulla. Even State police chief Shesh Pal Vaid had admitted that the attack was not possible without connivance at the Srinagar Central Jail, where Hanzulla was lodged.

The state government has already placed superintendent of Central Jail Srinagar under suspension and ordered an enquiry into the incident.