Udhampur blast case: NIA files charge sheet against 2 LeT terrorists

One of the two is a Pakistan-based handler who recruited and trained the other

SRINAGAR | Updated: 30 March, 2023 8:34 pm IST
NIA headquarters in Delhi (TNI photo By Amit Rawat)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday, March 30, filed a charge sheet against two members of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in connection with the Udhampur blast case.

The NIA said that following thorough investigations into the Udhampur IED blast cases, it has come to light that LeT terrorists, through their Pak-based handlers, carried out the attacks.

According to the NIA, the two operatives, Aslam Sheikh alias Adil and Mohd Amin Bhat alias Abu Khubaib alias Pinna, have been charged for their efforts towards the revival of militant activities in Jammu by carrying out recruitments from the pool of OGWs and surrendered terrorists and activating and motivating them to carry out terror acts.

On November 15, 2022, the NIA took over the investigation from the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

NIA investigations revealed that Sheikh was in touch with Bhat, an ‘individual terrorist’ of the LeT listed by the Government of India who was now operating from Pakistan.

Bhat recruited Adil to carry out the two IED blasts on buses parked in the public areas of the Udhampur district of J&K, which inflicted injuries on two people.

Bhat was a resident of the Doda district in J&K. In 1997, he joined the terrorist ranks of Hizb ul Mujahideen and was involved in the execution of various terror acts in J&K.

Bhat escaped to Pakistan in 2009 and was an active LeT handler who is playing a vital role in reviving and accelerating terrorist activities in the Jammu region of J&K, according to the NIA.

Sheikh collected the explosives consignment delivered by Bhat’s associates from across the border in the Kathua sector. Bhat used drones and the dead drop method for this delivery. He also trained Sheikh in cyberspace on how to prepare the IEDs.

On September 28, Sheikh planted two IEDs in two different buses that were plying between Basantgarh and Udhampur. One blast took place around midnight on the 28th and the other in the early hours of September 29, according to the NIA.

After his arrest, Sheikh made disclosures about the hoarding of explosives for future attacks. Two more IEDs, three sticky bombs, three detonators and two PTD timers were recovered from the Sheikh’s residence. These were part of the consignment that was delivered from Pakistan, he said.

NIA unravelled all these facts and filed a chargesheet on the 28th against Mohd Aslam Sheikh @ Adil and Mohd Amin Bhat @ Abu Khubaib under Sections 120B, 121A, 122, 307 and 407 of the IPC, Sections 3 and 4 of the Explosives Substances Act, 1908 and Sections 16, 18, 18B, 20, 23, 38 and 39 of the UA (P) Act, 1967.

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