Pathankot terror strike: NIA to file charge sheet next week

NIA is likely to file a comprehensive charge sheet in Pathankot airbase terror attack next week. India will be using the charge sheet at various international fora to highlight role of Masood Azhar.

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New Delhi, Dec 16: NIA is likely to file a comprehensive charge sheet in the Pathankot airbase terror attack next week, naming Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, along with his brother Rauf Asghar, as accused.

The charge sheet is likely to highlight the role of Jaish terror group in spreading mayhem in India and refer to the nefarious plans of the outfit, sources said.

NIA

Immediately after the Pathankot incident, Rauf had hosted a video message claiming the responsibility for the terror strike and glorified the role of his brother Azhar, who was released in exchange for passengers of hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814 in 1999.

India will be using the charge sheet of NIA at various international fora to highlight the role of Masood Azhar in the case relating to the Pathankot terror strike carried out on January 2 this year.

Launch of a diplomatic offensive against the Jaish and its chief Masood Azhar became an imperative after China continued to spurn efforts of India in getting UN sanctions against the terrorist and his group.

The Home Ministry had given sanction to NIA to file the charge sheet against Azhar, his brother and two handlers of four terrorists -- Qashif Jan and Shaid Latif, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Read More: Pathankot airbase attacked by four militants, maintains Govt

The four terrorists, after entering into India from Bamiyal area of Gurdaspur, had carried out the strike at the Pathankot IAF base killing eight people including seven personnel of IAF and NSG.

The charge sheet will name four terrorists involved in the attack as against six claimed by NSG. According to NIA, the terrorists, who were killed after two days of gunfight, were identified as Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar, Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum and they were residents of Vehari (Punjab), Gujranwala (Punjab), Sanghar (Sindh) and Sukkur (Sindh) of Pakistan respectively.

The charge sheet will also include evidence of linking the footprints of one of the terrorists obtained from Bamiyal besides matching of DNA sample found from a soft drink can in the hijacked car of Punjab Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh.

The Pathankot terror strike had seen a joint investigation team from Pakistan also arriving in India for carrying out a thorough probe. However, the Pakistani team, upon their return, claimed that India neither shared much of evidence nor allowed it to interrogate the security personnel involved in dealing with the attack.

PTI 

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