Srinagar, Mar 3: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Tuesday arrested a father-daughter duo accused of sheltering and aiding the Pulwama suicide bomber who blew himself up killing at least 40 CRPF troopers on the highway near Lethpora in one of the deadliest attacks on security forces in Kashmir.
A spokesperson of the agency said it had arrested Tariq Ahmed Shah, 50, a resident of Hakripora village and his daughter Insha Jan, 23.
Tariq’s house, as per the spokesperson was used to plan the attack as well as record the final video of the bomber which had gone viral right after the attack.
Tariq, as per NIA, works as a tipper driver in south Kashmir.
“During initial interrogation, accused Tariq Ahmed Shah has disclosed that his house at Hakripora, Pulwama was used by Adil Ahmed Dar (Fidayeen), Mohammad Umar Farooq, a Pakistani militant and IED maker, Kamran another Pakistani militant (both were later killed in encounters with security forces), Sameer Ahmed Dar, a JeM militant from Pulwama and Mohammad Ismail aka Ibrahim aka Adnan, a Pakistani militant,” the NIA spokesperson said.
Tariq, the NIA said, facilitated all the militants at his house for sheltering and for planning the attack on the CRPF convoy.
“His house also used for preparing and recording of video of Fidayeen Adil Ahmed Dar, which was released by Jaish-e-Mohammad soon after the Pulwama attack,” the spokesperson added.
In a 10-minute video released by Jaish soon after the attack, Adil spoke about his death hinting some suicide mission was in the offing.
“When you receive this video I would be enjoying the paradise of the Almighty Allah in the hereafter. Oh, Kashmiri people, salute to you that despite seeing lakhs of dead bodies, you did not lose heart,” Adil was seen saying in the video.
Tariq’s daughter Insha, the NIA alleged, also facilitated the militants at their home and provided food and other logistics during their stay on more than 15 occasions for 2-4 days each time, in their house during 2018-2019.
“Initial interrogation has revealed that Insha was in constant touch with Umar Farooq Pakistani IED maker and was in communication with him over telephone and other social media applications,” the spokesperson said.
The two arrests comes days after NIA arrested 22-year-old Shakir Bashir Magrey, a JeM operative, who allegedly tracked the movement of security convoys and helped assemble the bomb used in the attack.
Magrey was produced before the NIA Special Court in Jammu last Friday and remanded in the agency’s custody for 15 days. NIA sources said Magrey allegedly drove the bomb-laden car till 500 m from the attack site before handing it over to Adil Ahmed Dar, who was identified by the agency as the suicide bomber.
However, the family of Magrey has claimed that he had been in police custody since December 7 last year. Shakir’s mother Jameela said in the over two months he had been in custody, Shakir had come home for just an hour, on February 17, before re-arrest, The Indian Express quoted her saying.