Jammu, June 7
A well-coordinated team of the Jaish-e-Mohammad commanders in Pakistan and Pakistani-occupied Kashmir were behind the November 2016 Nagrota terror attack case.This was revealed by the three accused, Muhammad Ashiq Baba, Tariq Ahmed Dar and Muneer-ul-Hasan Qadri, recently arrested in the case by the National Investigation Agency from Kashmir.On November 29, 2016, fidayeen had attacked 166 Medium Regiment in Nagrota in which seven Army men, including two Majors, were killed and three others injured. Three Pakistani terrorists were also killed in the operation and a huge quantity of arms, ammunition, explosives and other articles were recovered from the slain terrorists.During interrogation, the three accused revealed to the NIA that JeM commanders Maulana Mufti Asghar in Muzaffarabad, PoK, Qari Zarar in Rawalpindi, and Waseem and Abu Talha, who are in charge of launching militants into the Jammu region, were behind the attack.“All three accused were in regular touch through WhatsApp messages and calls with these handlers in Pakistan, especially Maulana Asghar, whose nephew Waqas, a JeM commander, was killed in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district during an encounter sometime back,” said NIA spokesperson Additional Director General of Police Alok Mittal.Baba, one of the accused, had visited Pakistan via the Wagah border four times between 2015 and 2017 to meet these handlers. He had obtained visa from the Pakistani embassy by giving reference letters of separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Abdul Gani Bhat.During his visits, Baba met JeM commanders and took directions after getting a clearance from a local ISI agent. On his return, he received instructions on how and when to receive a group of terrorists, he said.“Around a week prior to the attack, Ashiq Baba and others received GPS coordinates of the receiving point in the Samba sector as well as the possible targets by the Pakistan handlers. Before receiving the terrorists, the accused conducted a recce of the Nagrota garrison and the targeted officers’ mess of the 166 Medium Regiment which were close to the old highway and easy targets,” the NIA was told by the accused.This information was passed to the handlers in Pakistan through WhatsApp. A night before the attack, the three accused dropped the three Pakistani terrorists near the attack site before leaving for Srinagar.The NIA has come to know that the three accused were involved not only in the Nagrota terror attack case but had also received militants in March 2017 and had taken them safely to Pulwama. The group was received by JeM commander Noor Trali in Pulwama. Trali was later killed in an encounter.In April-May 2017, Baba again visited Pakistan and met Waseem, Abu Talha and Mufti Asghar. “He also met Maulana Rauf (brother of Maulana Masood Azhar and accused in the Pathankot attack case) at their headquarters in Bahawalpur. He was showered with praises by the JeM leadership and promised a lot of financial rewards and was told to receive more attackers in future,” he added.All three accused were given huge amounts of money by the JeM handlers in Pakistan through Gulf countries. “Muneer told Baba that the JeM leader wanted him to open an account with HDFC Bank or ICICI Bank to receive funds as reward. Baba already had an HDFC account which he provided to the JeM commanders on WhatsApp. They then transferred hefty amounts into his account. Baba said the amount came from Gulf countries,” the NIA spokesperson added.