2016 Pathankot attack: NIA names Masood Azhar, 4 others

Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulala Masood Azhar has been listed as the prime accused in the January 2, 2016 attack on the Pathankot air base

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The National Investigation Agency on Monday filed a chargesheet in connection with the January 2, 2016 Pathankot attack. The NIA has named five persons including Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar who has been listed as the prime accused.

[Also read: The importance of Pathankot air force station and why terrorists targetted it]

The others named in the chargesheet are Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar, the deputy chief of the Jaish, Shahid Latif the launching commander and Kashif Jan, the prime handler.

Pathankot

All the persons have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967, Indian Penal Code, Explosives Substances Act and Arms Act.

Pathankot terrorists revealed

The NIA also named the four terrorists who carried out the attack. The chargesheet states that the offences as noted above were also established against the attackers -- Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar, Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum. The prosecution against these persons stands abated as these persons are dead, the NIA also stated.

Criminal conspiracy:

Maulana Masood Azhar

The chargesheet that the JeM had entered into a conspiracy to carry out a terrorist strike and wage a war against the Indian government. The terrorist group had set up training camps in Pakistan and the PoK area. During the training programme the terrorists underwent extensive regimen of motivational, physical, military and tactical training. The terrorists were radicalised and were prepared for Jihad.

They illegally crossed the Indo-Pak international border through the forest area near the Simbal Border outpost. Empty food packets manufactured in Pakistan and other food articles from Pakistan were recovered from the forest area near the outpost, during investigation, the NIA states in the report.

After infiltrating into the Indian side, these terrorists reached Bhagwal village to Janial in Punjab. On December 31, 2015 at around 9.30 pm they hijacked an Innova taxi which was being driven by Ikagar Singh. The terrorists snatched the mobile phone of Ikagar Singh and used the same to communicate with their handler, Kashif Jan. They made calls to three Pakistan mobile numbers- 923453030479, 923213132786 and 923017775253.

The vehicle met with an accident at the Dhusi turn near the Ravi River bridge. The terrorists then killed the driver and dumped his body. The terrorists then drove the damaged Innova vehicle and abandoned it at a service station at Kolian Morh, district Pathankot.

Another hijack:

Pathankot attack

After abandoning the damaged vehicle, the terrorists hid in the nearby sugarcane fields and waited for another vehicle to pass by. They then hijacked a Mahindra XUV vehicle belonging to Salvinder Singh, (now-suspencded) superintendent of police, Punjab and moved towards the Air Force Station, Pathankot.

They then forced Singh and two others out of the vehicle and snatched away their mobile phones, and used these to communicate with their handlers. At around 4 am on January 1, 2016 the terrorists reached the Akalgarh village near the Air Force Station.

Thereafter, they moved towards the air base on foot. During the investigation, the NIA recovered a walkie-talkie set belonging to the terrorists. A slip was also retrieved in which it was written, "Jaish E Muhamad Zindabad Tanghdar se le kar Samba Kathua Rajbagh Aur delhi tak Afzal Guru Shadeed Kay Jan nisar Tum ko meltay rahege. Insha Allah(Long live Afzal Guru,we will take the fight from Kathua to Delhi) A.G.S. 25-12-15".

Entering the air base:

Investigation revealed that after abandoning the vehicle, the terrorists moved to the western side of the air base by foot and their entry into after cutting the wire fencing over the western side of the perimeter wall, and then crossed it and entered it on January 1m 2016.

Pathankot Operation

After getting in, the terrorists hid themselves inside the nallah (drain). ​While the terrorists were hiding inside the base, they called their handler. The terrorists then launched the attack on January 2 2016. They fired indiscriminately and lobbed grenades.

The terrorists also specifically targeted fuel tanks of the vehicles parked in the MT Section setting them on fire, causing severe damage to the vehicles and the buildings, so as to cause panic, the NIA chargesheet says. During the attack 7 persons were martyred and 37 injured.

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