A year after Pulwama attack, NIA yet to conclude final investigation
The central probe agency, which had been handed over the case immediately after the incident, has neither filed a charge-sheet nor has it been able to source the origin of the heavy explosives used in the attackby Zulfikar Majid
Exactly a year has passed since deadly Pulwama fidayeen (suicide) attack in which security forces suffered highest number of causalities in peacetime operations, National Investigation Agency (NIA) is yet to conclude its final investigation into the case.
The central probe agency, which had been handed over the case immediately after the incident, has neither filed a charge-sheet nor has it been able to source the origin of the heavy explosives used in the attack.
Though police and army claimed that Mudasir Khan, alias Mohammad Bhai, JeM commander, believed to have masterminded the attack, was killed in an encounter with the security forces on March 11 last year, the NIA is yet to find out the source of huge explosives used in the attack.
“The only clear information available about the attack with the NIA is the explosives used - ammonium nitrate, nitro-glycerine and RDX. However, the source of the explosives and how it was brought to Lethpora, where the attack occurred, is yet to be established,” sources in the NIA told DH.
A video released after the attack by Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit showed Adil Dar, the fidayeen who carried the attack, armed with rifles, seated in front of a JeM banner. It is the only concrete proof the probe agency has to link JeM with the attack, said sources in the NIA.
In the video, Dar admitted that he joined JeM’s “fidayeen squad” for a “purpose”, adding that he had waited for this moment for a year. “By the time this video is out, I will be enjoying myself in heaven,” he said. “I am proud that I am the real propagator of Islam and my name will be written in golden letters.”
However, a senior police official privy to the investigations said, the reason behind the NIA’s almost-dead case is that none of the key suspects are alive. “Those who were involved in the attack were neutralised immediately after the attack and there is no person having direct involvement in the attack alive,” he said.
Along with suicide bomber Adil, the key suspects in the case were Mudasir, Qari Mufti Yasser, Kamran and Sajjad Ahmed Bhat, all of whom have been killed by the forces.
The ruthless nature of the attack and the stark casualty count had stirred mass outrage across India and just 12 days after the attack, Narendra Modi-led NDA government sanctioned a surgical airstrike on a JeM camp in Balakot area of Pakistan.
Prior to the Pulwama attack in 2019, the preceding year had been one of the Valley's bloodiest with official statistics revealing that 361 people had died, including 86 security personnel.