Breakthrough in Pulwama attack expected shortly: NIA

Breakthrough in Pulwama suicide attack expected shortly: NIA

Students pay tribute to the martyred CPPF jawans, who lost their lives in a suicide bomber attack in Pulwama last year, in Jammu, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. Credit: PTI Photo

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday said that significant leads have emerged in the deadly Pulwama fidayeen (suicide) attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel and “a breakthrough in the case was expected shortly.”

“In the Pulwama attack case under number 02/2019/NIA/JMU, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed in the suicide attack, significant leads have emerged and a breakthrough in the case is expected shortly,” the NIA said in a statement issued, here.

40 CRPF personnel, travelling in a convoy on south Kashmir highway in Pulwama district, were killed on 14 February 2019 when a suicide bomber rammed a car loaded with explosives into the CRPF bus at around 3.15 pm at Lethpora. The impact of the blast reduced the bus to a mangled heap.

Following the attack, banned militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility and even released a video of the purported attacker, Adil Ahmad Dar.

Meanwhile, the NIA clarified the grant of bail to Muhammad Yousuf Chopan, saying that he was never arrested with regard to the case in Pulwama attack. The statement reads that Chopan was granted default bail by NIA’s special court New Delhi on February 18, due to inadequate evidence.

The statement added that certain media reports have emerged which suggest that the special NIA Court New Delhi has granted bail to one accused Yousuf Chopan in the Pulwama attack case.

“It is to clarify that Yousuf Chopan was never arrested in Pulwama attack case. However, he along with six others were arrested in the NIA case under number 08/2019/NIA/DLI (JeM Conspiracy case) in which 2 chargesheets were filed against eight accused including two slain persons, Sajad Ahmad Khan, Tanveer Ahmed Ganie, Bilal Ahmad Mir, Muzaffar Ahmad Bhat, Ishfaq Ahmad Bhat, Mehraj-ud-din Chopan, Mudassir Ahmad Khan and Kari Mufti Yaseer,” the statement reads.

During the investigation, in JeM conspiracy case, seven overground workers (OGWs) were arrested. However, out of which six accused were chargesheeted in two chargesheets while Chopan was not chargesheeted due to inadequate evidence, the statement added.

“As such, he has been granted default bail by special NIA Court New Delhi on 18.02.2020 and he has been sent back to Kot Bhalwal Jail Jammu under Public Safety Act (PSA) by the order of DM Pulwama,” the statement reads, adding that needless to say, NIA follows the policy of fairest possible investigation.

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