Pak-Based Handler Among 2 Lashkar Terrorists Charged In Udhampur Blast Case
Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives, including a Pakistan-based handler, have been chargesheeted in connection with the blasts in two buses in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur district in September last year, an official said on Thursday.
The chargesheet against Mohammad Amin Bhat alias ‘Abu Khubaib’, a resident of Doda district, who is currently operating from Pakistan and trying to revive terror activities in the Jammu region, and Mohd Aslam Sheikh alias ‘Adil’ was filed in a special court on Tuesday, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) spokesperson said.
Bhat and Sheikh were charged under the Indian Penal Code, the Explosive Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act following thorough investigation into the explosions inside two parked buses in Udhampur district on September 28 and 29, the official said.
The spokesperson said the two LeT operatives have also been charged for their efforts towards revival of terrorist activities in Jammu by carrying out recruitment from the pool of Overground Workers and surrendered terrorists as well as activating and motivating them to carry out terrorist acts.
After taking over the investigation into the blast cases on November 15 last year from the Jammu and Kashmir Police, the NIA said its probe revealed that Sheikh was in touch with Bhat, also known as ‘Pinna’.
Bhat has been listed as an “individual terrorist” of the LeT by the government and is operating from Pakistan, the agency said.
“Pinna recruited Adil to carry out the two IED blasts on buses parked in the public areas of Udhampur district which had inflicted injuries to two persons,” the spokesperson said.
In 1997, Bhat joined the terrorist ranks of the Hizbul Mujahideen and was involved in the execution of various terrorist acts in Jammu and Kashmir before escaping to Pakistan in 2009, the official said.
He is currently an active LeT handler who is playing a vital role to revive and accelerate terrorist activities in the Jammu region, the NIA spokesperson said.
The NIA said the explosives used in the blasts was delivered by Bhat using drones from across the international border and was collected by Sheikh in Kathua district.
“Bhat trained Adil in cyberspace on how to prime the IEDs. On September 28, Sheikh planted two IEDs in two different buses, which were plying between Basnatgarh and Udhampur. One blast took place around midnight on September 28 and the other in the early hours of September 29,” the spokesperson said.
After his arrest, the official said Sheikh made disclosures about hoarding of explosives for future attacks.
Two more IEDs, three sticky bombs, three detonators and two PTD timers – part of the consignment delivered from Pakistan – were recovered from his residence, the official said.
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