New Delhi, June 11: A Srinagar-base operative of Jaish-e-Mohammad, Ashiq Baba, on Sunday revealed that the terror organisation is working closely with Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen to target India. Baba was arrested on June 5 in connection with terror attack at the Nagrota Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir in November 2016 in which seven soldiers were killed. Earlier, the NIA had arrested Tariq Ahmad Dar, a Pulwama-based timber dealer, and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) operative Syed Muneer-Ul-Hasan-Qadri in the case.
During interrogation, Baba revealed that JeM’s Kashmir terrorist Mufti Waqas had led the deadly terror attack on Pulwama police-lines in 2017 in which eight security personnel were killed. In fact, the three terrorists arrested in the Nagrota attack case namely Md Ashiq Baba, Tariq Ahmed Dar, Muneer-ul-Hassan Qadri have revealed that they were in regular touch with JeM commanders based in Pakistan, NIA said in a statement. (Also Read: Hizbul Losing Influence in Kashmir, LeT Pressurising Chief to Step Down)
As per the NIA, the three arrested were in continuous Whatsapp contact through voice and text with Maulana Mufti Ashghar based at Muzaffarabad whose “bhanja” Waqas (JeM commander in South Kashmir) died in an encounter near Pulwama recently. Besides him, the trio was also in touch with Qari Zarar based out of Rawalpindi and Waseem and Abu Talha. Zarar is another commander in charge of launching terrorists in Jammu region.
The NIA said that the conspiracy to conduct attacks on the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, terrorist Ashiq Baba visited Pakistan four times between the year 2015 to 2017, legally. “As part of the conspiracy to conduct attacks on the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, terrorist Baba visited Pakistan four times, crossing the Wagah border between 2015 to 2017 legally,” a National Investigation Agency (NIA) official said in Delhi. In fact, he obtained his VISAs after getting reference letters from Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Shah Gillani, Gani Bhat and Maulana Umar Farooq, NIA revealed.
After returning back to India, Ashiq Baba received instructions on how and when to receive the group of terrorists. After a few days, Baba and Muneer, another arrested terrorist, received a group of three attackers a day before the attack. The group then travelled to Jammu and two separate vans. Next day, Ashiq took the commander among the attackers to show him the site of the attack and came back to the hotel. Late in the night, the terrorists attacked the site.
With agency inputs