The National Investigative agency which is close to unraveling the dastardly Pulwama carnage said that several leads point out to the direct involvement of Pakistan in executing the ghastly act.
The evidence collected by the agency points out that four to five Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants, including suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar and a local handler, were involved in the planning and execution of the Pulwama carnage. While it has been ascertained now that the vehicle used in the attack was a red Maruti Eeco, investigators have also learned that it was the Pakistan military that provided the RDX.
An officer with the National Investigation Agency, while speaking with OneIndia revealed that the RDX was moved into Kashmir from across the border weeks before the attack. The RDX was smuggled into India by touts of the Jaish-e-Mohammad. Since it was a large quantity, it was moved in batches, the NIA officer also confirmed.
According to the officer, the RDX was supplied to the militants by the Pakistan army since they freely supply such explosives to the terrorists. The agency was sure that it has been smuggled from across the border, the officer also said.
According to NIS investigators, the owner of the Maruti Eeco vehicle used in the February 14 attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy that killed over 40 soldiers has also been identified. The vehicle was registered in Kashmir some eight years ago and was being used by the group with the knowledge of the owner, who has gone missing, investigating officers added.
“We have the full details about the vehicle, which was sighted with the same group at least a couple of times,” said an NIA investigator.
The officers investigating the matter also concluded that there were rare possibilities of the bomb fitted in the car being triggered remotely. It was Adil Ahmed Dar, the suicide bomber who triggered the explosives.
A car bomb is also known as a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED). Car bombs are more common with Talibanis and Palestinian terror groups. This mode is one of the most lethal modes of attack, as it creates a huge impact and parts of the vehicle which explode act as shrapnel causing further damage and the fuel in the vehicle also adds to the damage.
This has not been used in Kashmir so far. The NIA’s probe revealed that since the mastermind, Mohammad Umair had been trained in Afghanistan, he could have picked up the concept from there, where the car bombs are used by the Taliban extensively.
As per the OneIndia report, Security experts explain that countering a car bomb is very difficult. For instance in Pulwama, the car bomber used the highway to target the CRPF bus. The highway was not closed for the public as a result of which the bomber was able to access the target. Even if the car bomb were to be intercepted, the bomber would have anyway detonated it, thus causing damage, the official explained.
Although the NIA declined to reveal the identities of people involved in the attack at this stage, a senior official said that the full details of the case should be known over the next two weeks.
“We have pieces of evidence; the job of joining of dots to unravel the entire conspiracy is on. Someone brought the RDX from across the border, while another person rigged the device. The vehicle was perhaps repainted with someone doing the reconnaissance of the spot and selection of the target. We have the full picture of the attack,” the senior official added.
Though Pakistan has been in a constant denial mode, reports have mentioned officials admitting under the conditions of anonymity that there were clear Pakistani footprints in the Pulwama attack.