The insider job that may have helped terrorists attack Amarnath Yatra
New Delhi, jan 23: Two years on since the horrific Amarnath Yatra attack, more details are emerging. The investigations clearly point towards an inside job, which may have helped the terrorists execute the attack in which 8 pilgrims lost their lives.
The letter written by the National Investigation Agency to the Jammu and Kashmir Police makes a startling revelation about the car of a former PDP MLA being used in the attack. The PDP leader in question is Aijaz Mir, who was in the news last year when an SPO posted at his residence decamped with nine weapons including 4 AK-47 rifles.
The NIA after taking over the probe into the July 10 2017 attack found that there was a well oiled machinery that worked to ensure that the attack was executed. The attack took place despite high security and this went on to show that the logistics provided to the terrorists was perfect.
The attack was a dastardly one and terrorists broke an unwritten rule by attacking the Yatra, which provides employment to lakhs of locals from Jammu and Kashmir. It is not clear, how the terrorists ended up sourcing the car of the MLA. However using this vehicle could have helped the terrorists dodge security.
Sources say that it is too early to conclude whether it was an insider job. The J&K police will now have to provide information about the vehicle. Further the NIA has also asked for the antecedents of the former MLA.
The NIA suspects that Mir has a soft corner for separatists. In its letter, the agency said, " it is believed that he (Mir) has soft corner for separatists. It has also come into notice that once his vehicle was used on the attacks on pilgrims of the Amarnath Yatra. Therefore, you are requested to provide criminal record/antecedents if any and integrity report on respect of aforesaid Ex-MLA namely Ajaz Ahmad Mir to Shri Rakesh Shrama SP/CIO of the instant case.
The probe revealed that those who carried out the attack were part of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. All those who were part of the attack have been eliminated by the security forces. The NIA has however been probing further on those who provided logistics to the terrorists.
On July 25 2017, two terrorists were killed in an encounter at Bragpora. They were identified as Jibran and Saad. It was suspected that the duo were part of the team that provided the logistics
Cracking a blind case:
It began as a blind case and for long there was no lead. The investigators then found an adverse number which belonged Zahoor Ahmad Shaikh, who was working as a driver with the State Road Transport Corporation. The number was on their radar and his phone conversations were being recorded.
After the call detail records were sourced, it was found that his location was close to the spot. It was learnt that he was in touch with Ajaz Ahmad Wagay, who was a medical representative. This was a crucial breakthrough as Wagay was not on the radar of the agencies. Wagay was an overground worker, who was later killed in an encounter.
This led to the rest of the persons who were part of the attack. With the help of the intelligence agencies, the investigators managed to get more details. All the terrorists involved in the attack were killed in separate encounters.
It began with the killing of Abu Ismail, the mastermind of the attack. The Army then went on to kill Abu Mavia, Fukran and Chhota Qasim. NIA officials tell OneIndia that while the larger conspiracy has been revealed in their probe, they are now focusing on the finer details.
An attack of such a magnitude would not have been possible, without the support of more locals and those part of the establishment. We have under our scanner several persons, who are sympathetic towards the separatists and also terror groups.
An Intelligence Bureau official says that many within the establishment knowingly or unknowingly lend support to such acts. It has increased considerably over the years. Many are sympathetic towards such groups, which helps them go about their job with much ease, the IB officer also said.