NIA charges Masood Azhar for Pathankot terror attack

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New Delhi, Dec 19 (IANS) The NIA on Monday filed charges against Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar and three others for plotting and executing the January 2 terror attack at an IAF base in Pathankot in Punjab.

The others named in the chargesheet include Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar, Shahid Latif and Kashif Jan, the National Investigation Agency said in a statement here.

Mufti Asghar is a brother of Maulana Azhar and the number two in the JeM.

The chargesheet submitted in a special court of the agency at Panchkula, Punjab, said a Red Corner Notice had been issued by Interpol against Azhar, Asghar and Latif while a Red Corner Notice against Kashif Jan was in the process of being issued.

The submission also named four attackers – Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar, Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum – all residents of Pakistan.

“Prosecution against these attackers was recommended to be abated since they are dead,” the statement said.

The JeM chief and others have been accused of setting up terrorist camps in Pakistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir to carry out terror attacks on India.

“During the training, these terrorists were made to undergo extensive motivational, physical, military and tactical training regimen to radicalise them and to prepare them for jihad,” it said.

“NIA investigators collected sufficient evidence in terms of statements of the witnesses to establish that the terrorists had been trained, motivated and radicalised by Azhar and Rauf,” the statement said.

“It has also been established through legal intercepts and statements of witnesses that Kashif Jan and Shahid Latif had guided, equipped and launched the four terrorists who carried out the terrorist attack at the IAF station, killing and injuring innocent persons and destroying public property,” it said.

“The recoveries from the scene of crime, material and documentary evidence, forensic reports and extensive call data analysis conclusively establish the complicity of the terrorists of JeM in the attack,” the NIA added.

All four have been charged with criminal conspiracy, murder, waging war against the state and attempt to murder among others.

They were also charged with the Arms Act, the Explosive Substances Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

The terror attack on January 2 left seven soldiers dead after four militants managed to enter the camp. All the attackers were killed after a fierce gunfight.

–IANS

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