In a massive development in the NIA probe in the Pulwama terror attack, the investigative agency on Tuesday night raided the house of Sajjad Bhat, a resident of J&K's Marhama who provided the Maruti Eeco that was used by JeM suicide bomber in the terror attack on February 14 in which 40 CRPF soldiers were martyred.
NIA (National Investigation Agency) on Monday had identified crucial details related to the vehicle used in the attack and its owner. As per NIA, the Maruti Eeco, that was used in Pulwama attack, was sold to Md Jaleel Ahmed Haqqani a resident of Heaven colony, Anantnag. The car subsequently exchanged hands seven times and finally reached Sajjad Bhat, who has been evading arrest since the Pulwama attack. As per reports, he has joined the Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit after the attack.
NIA team on Tuesday night also raided the houses of active JeM terrorists Mudasir Khan and Suraj Manzoor Malik, resident of Midoora Awantipora in Jammu and Kashmir.
Furthermore, NIA carried out searches and raids at seven locations, including on the premises of separatists like Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, in connection with a case related to funding to terrorist and separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir. In the raids, the agency said it recovered "high-tech internet communication setup" from the residence of the Mirwaiz.
It also claimed to have recovered letterheads of terrorist groups and visa recommendation letters for admission in Pakistan-based educational institutions from several locations.
The NIA team, accompanied by local police and CRPF personnel, swooped on residences of some of the separatist leaders, including the Mirwaiz, Naseem Geelani, son of pro-Pakistan separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and chairman of Tehrek-e-Hurriyat Ashraf Sehrai, they said.
"During the searches, NIA teams recovered incriminating documents including property papers, financial transactions receipts and bank account details. Electronic devices including laptops, e-tablets, mobile phones, pen drives, communication system and DVRs were also seized during the searches," the NIA spokesperson said.
Besides these, the houses of JKLF leader Yaseen Malik, Shabir Shah, Zaffar Bhat and Masarat Alam were also raided. Barring Mirwaiz and Sehrai, all other leaders were inside jail for quite some time.
"The searched premises included those belonging to top separatist leaders namely Yaseen Malik, Chairman JKLF, Shabir Shah, President JKDFP, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Chairman Awami Action Committee, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai Chairman Tehreek-e-Hurriyat,Masarat Alam, General Secretary APHC, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Chairman JKSM and Naseem Geelani, son of Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani," the spokesperson said here.
The case names Hafeez Saeed, Pakistan-based chief of Jamaat-ud Dawah, the front for banned Lashker-e-Taiba, as an accused, besides organisations such as the Hurriyat Conference (factions led by Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq), Hizbul Mujahideen and Dukhtaran-e-Millat.
The National Investigation Agency, which was probing the case, today said it managed to piece together the remains and make out not only the make of the vehicle but its chassis number and registration number.
(With agency inputs)