Pulwama attack: NIA continues to grill suspects in case

PTI  photo.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), probing February 14 deadly fidayeen (suicide) attack on a CRPF convoy in southern Pulwama, have questioned more than 30 suspects in the last few days from south Kashmir areas to trace the links of the attack.
 
The NIA sleuths, assisted by local police, have detained at least 35 persons, including two juveniles, from Tral, Awantipora, Pampore and Khrew areas in the last four days, sources said. “A juvenile was detained by the police on February 16 from Khasipora, Tral. His school registration card shows he is 15. Another juvenile, also 15, was detained from Dadsara area of Tral.”
 
“The NIA sleuths grilled the suspects on suspicion that they had provided logistical support to the suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar. After the suicide attack, the security forces have been raiding the homes of militants, their relatives and friends besides carrying out random searches,” they said.
 
On Tuesday evening, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) formally transferred the suicide attack case to the NIA and the central probe agency filed an FIR in the matter on Wednesday, sources added.
 
A 10-member NIA team is camping in Kashmir since Friday and they visited the terror attack site on Srinagar-Jammu highway several times, along with Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) experts, to collect evidence. 
 
A police officer privy to investigations told DH that the NIA team led by an inspector general (IG) level officer also scrutinised the 20-25 km stretch of area between Pampore and Pulwama on the highway, which is considered to be militant hotbed and hub of Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit.
 
The premier probe agency is trying to determine why this 25-km stretch on the national highway has been used to target security forces in the Valley on multiple occasions. The Central probe agency is also tracking call records from mobile towers in the area. Internet call details and telegram messages are being searched from 48 hours prior to the February 14 suicide attack, he said.
 
Though during its five-day investigation, the NIA team could not collect any substantive clue, they are working on various angles. Hopefully, in coming weeks the case will be cracked,” he revealed.
 
Earlier, the NIA investigated an attack on a Border Security Force convoy in Udhampur area of Jammu province in August 2015, September 18, 2016, Uri Army base attack in which 19 soldiers were killed and few other high-profile terror attacks in the state.
 
The NIA is a central agency established by the Centre government to combat terror in India. The premier probe agency is empowered to deal with terror-related crimes across states without special permission from the states.

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Pulwama attack: NIA continues to grill suspects in case

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