The National Investigation Agency, which has been in a relentless pursuit to nab Pakistan backed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists behind the Pulwama terror attack, which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel on February 14, last year, has now made the 7th arrest in the case. In a press release dated July 7, 2020, NIA named the 7th accused as Bilal Ahmed Kuchey, a resident of Kakapora, Pulwama who was nabbed by the agency on July 5 (Sunday). Prior to his arrest, the agency has arrested six people associated with the crime.
The agency produced Bilal Ahmed Kuchey before the NIA special court on July 6 (Monday) and took him in 10 days remand for custodial interrogation.
The terror associate, who ran a sawmill at his place was accused of providing logistic support to the JeM terrorists involved in the 2019 Pulwama attack. It is being alleged that Bilal Ahmed had given shelter to the main perpetrators in his house and had further introduced them to other OGW’s who had provided safe houses to these terrorists during their stay and while planning the attack.
Mobile phone used for recording the video clip of Adil Ahmed Dhar
The NIA further stated in the press release that Bilal was also responsible for making high-end mobile phones available to the JeM terrorists, which the later used to communicate with their top leadership in Pakistan as well as among themselves to give final touches to their planning and for the execution of the attack.
The NIA revealed that the phone provided by him was also used for recording the video clip of Adil Ahmed Dhar, which had gone viral after the attack. Notably, Adil Ahmad Dar is the Jaish terrorist and the Pulwama’s suicide bomber who led a deadly attack leading to the killing of 40 CRPF men by ramming his car loaded with 100 kg of explosives into a CRPF bus on 14 February 2019.
Past arrests made by NIA in Pulwama terror attack case
A week before this arrest the NIA had arrested one 25-year-old Mohammad Iqbal Rather, a resident of Budgam. NIA had revealed that Iqbal had facilitated the movement of IED specialist Mohammad Umar Farooq, after he infiltrated into the Indian territory in the Jammu region in April 2018.
Prior to this arrest, the NIA had made two arrests, including a teenager, from Kashmir Valley for their role in Pulwama terror attack carried out by Pakistan Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel on February 14, last year. On March 7, 2020, the agency nabbed, 19-years-old Waiz-ul-Islam and 32-years-old Mohammad Abbass Rather, hail from Srinagar and Pulwama respectively.
The NIA revealed that arrested terrorist aide, Waiz-ul-Islam, bought chemicals on the Amazon shopping website which was used to prepare the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) used in the Pulwama suicide attack.
According to reports, Amazon had shared the information with the NIA about a buyer who used the online shopping portal to buy ingredients for the making improvised explosive device (IED). Based on details shared by Amazon, NIA arrested Waiz-ul-Islam.
With these two arrests, the total number of arrests in the Pulwama attack case has gone up to five. On March 7, a father-daughter duo was arrested on the accusation of harbouring the Pulwama suicide bomber and Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist Adil Ahmad Dar, while on February 29, 2020, NIA arrested a Pakistan-sponsored Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist, Shakir Bashir Magrey, for his involvement in the Pulwama terror attack last year.
According to reports, the 25-year-old terrorist had provided shelter and other logistical assistance to Islamic terrorists and suicide-bomber Adil Ahmad Dar. Magrey was also involved in modifying the Maruti Eeco car and fitting IED to it in early February 2019, the NIA said.
On 14 February 2019, a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora in the Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The terrorist attack sponsored by Pakistan resulted in the deaths of 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel, to avenge which, India conducted an aerial strike at a terror training centre in Balakot of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on February 26 last year.