Major breakthrough in Lethpora attack: NIA arrests Jaish OGW who ‘provided shelter to suicide bomber’
Srinagar, Feb 28: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday arrested an over-ground worker of the militant outfit Jaish (JeM), in the first major breakthrough in the Pulwama attack case in which at least 40 CRPF soldiers had been killed on February 14, 2019. The accused, Shakir Bashir Magrey is a resident of Hajibal, Kakapora, in Pulwama. A furniture shop owner, Shakir Bashir Magrey, as per NIA, provided shelter and other logistical help to suicide-bomber Adil Ahmad Dar. He was introduced to Adil Ahmad Dar in mid-2018 by a Pakistani militant called Umar Farooq and he became a full-time over-ground worker of JeM. The Agency said during his initial interrogation, he has disclosed that on several occasions, he collected and delivered arms, ammunition, cash and explosive material to the JeM militants including those involved in Pulwama attack. “Accused Shakir Bashir Magrey has further revealed that he had harboured Adil Ahmad Dar and Pakistani militant Mohammad Umar Farooq in his house from late 2018 till the attack in February 2019, and assisted them in the preparation of the IED,” the NIA said in a statement. “His shop is located near Lethpora bridge, and as advised by Mohammad Umar, he started conducting reconnaissance of the movement of CRPF convoy on Jammu-Srinagar Highway in January 2019, and informed Mohammad Umar and Adil Ahmad Dar about it.” The NIA statement said he was also involved in modifying the Maruti Eeco car and fitting the IED in it in early February, 2019. “During investigation, the make, model and number of the car used in the attack was quickly ascertained by NIA to be a Maruti Eeco car through forensic examination of the tiny remnants of the car, which were seized from the spot during extended searches. This has been corroborated by accused Shakir Bashir Magrey,” the statement said adding that the explosives used in the attack were determined to be Ammonium Nitrate, Nitro-Glycerin and RDX through forensic investigation. “Investigation has also confirmed the identity of the suicide bomber to be Adil Ahmad Dar through DNA matching with that of his father. Other key militants involved in the attack have been found to be Muddasir Ahmad Khan, (JeM’s Divisional Commander of South Kashmir killed in an operation by security forces on 11-03-2019) Pakistani militants Muhammad Umar Farooq and IED expert Kamran, (both killed on 29-03-2019) the owner of the car Sajjad Ahmad Bhat r/o Marhama, Anantnag (killed on 16-06-2019) and Qari Yassir, JeM’s Commander for Kashmir (killed on 25-01-2020).” The NIA statement said that the attack on the CRPF convoy, moving from Jammu towards Srinagar on 14-02-2019 at Pulwama, with an IED-laden vehicle by Jaish militant Adil Ahmad Dar had claimed lives of 40 CRPF personnel and grievously injured many others. “OGW Shakir Bashir Magrey was produced before the NIA Special Court at Jammu today and remanded to 15 days of NIA custody for his detailed interrogation,” the statement said.