NIA files charges against LeT operative accused of fuelling unrest in Kashmir

NEW DELHI, Jan 6: The National Investigation Agency on Friday filed charges against the Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, who was arrested in Jammu and Kashmir in July, 2016. “There is strong and clinching evidence on how LeT terrorists were sent across the border to India,” Alok Mittal, a senior agency officer told NDTV.

Bahadur Ali, 21, had confessed to being part of the banned outfit that trained him, and gave him weapons and GPS devices to stay in touch with his handlers in Pakistan after he infiltrated Indian territory. “During this period, Alfa-3 [an LeT base allegedly on a hilltop in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir] communicated to Bahadur Ali that the LeT cadres had been successful in fuelling large scale agitation in Kashmir after Eid, subsequent to the death of Burhan Wani in Kashmir,” a statement released by the NIA said, according to HT.

The investigators said Ali was asked to fuel agitation in the Valley after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani. He was instructed to mix with the protestors and initiate attacks on security personnel.

The agency said their investigations had led them to believe that the LeT has set up “well-organised machinery for the recruitment of vulnerable young men from different provinces of Pakistan, as part of a conspiracy to wage war against India”. Ali is from a village in Raiwind, Lahore.

The NIA said Ali was planning attacks in several Indian cities. Investigators found a diary on him when he was arrested that had names of many towns in Jammu & Kashmir and Delhi. “Given the fact that Bahadur Ali is a trained cadre of the LeT, the inclusion of the names of these cities in the diary indicates that he was tasked to carry out terror attacks at several places, including Delhi,” the NIA said.

Ali had reportedly entered India with two other LeT members. They walked around for several days with the help of a map and grid references provided by his trainers. He was finally arrested in Handwara in Kashmir’s Kupwara region on July 25, 2016. “It has been affirmed by the Surveyor General of India, Dehradun that Bahadur Ali had indeed plotted the Grid References correctly. This clearly establishes that Ali is well conversant with the use of the map sheet and that he has received training on the subject,” said the agency.

The NIA had earlier said that there were between 30 and 40 trainees at LeT training camps along the border. Ali, who is in the central agency’s custody, entered India on June 11 or 12 along with two other Lashkar members, reported ANI.

Following the revelations in August, India had issued Pakistan a strong demarche. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had also summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit to hand over the document that reportedly expressed New Delhi’s displeasure regarding the development.

The demarche, issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, said, “Bahadur Ali has confessed to our authorities that after training in Lashkar-e-Toiba camps, he was infiltrated into India. He was thereafter in touch with an ‘operations room’ of LeT, receiving instructions to attack Indian security personnel and carry out other terrorist attacks in India.”

News Updated at : Friday, January 6, 2017