Pulwama Attack: Breakthrough expected shortly, says NIA

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SRINAGAR — A year after the deadly Pulwama suicide attack, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday said that significant leads have emerged and a breakthrough in the case is expected shortly.

At least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men were killed in a deadly suicide attack carried out by a Jaish-e-Muhammad militant, Aadil Ahmad on February 14 last year in Lethpora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

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“In the Pulwama attack case under number 02/2019/NIA/JMU, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed in the suicide attack, significant leads have emerged and a breakthrough in the case is expected shortly,” NIA said in a statement issued here.

Meanwhile, NIA clarified the grant of bail to Muhammad Yousuf Chopan, saying that he was never arrested with regard to the case in Pulwama attack. The statement reads that Yousuf Chopan was granted default bail by NIA’s special court New Delhi on February 18, due to inadequate evidence.

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The statement added that certain media reports have emerged which suggest that the special NIA Court New Delhi has granted bail to one accused Yousuf Chopan in the Pulwama attack case.

“It is to clarify that Yousuf Chopan was never arrested in Pulwama attack case. However, he along with six others were arrested in the NIA case under number 08/2019/NIA/DLI (JeM Conspiracy case) in which 2 chargesheets were filed against eight accused including two slain persons, Sajad Ahmad Khan, Tanveer Ahmed Ganie, Bilal Ahmad Mir, Muzaffar Ahmad Bhat, Ishfaq Ahmad Bhat, Mehraj-ud-din Chopan, Mudassir Ahmad Khan and Kari Mufti Yaseer,” the statement reads.

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During the investigation, in JeM conspiracy case, seven Over Ground Workers (OGWs) were arrested. However, out of which six accused were chargesheeted in two chargesheets while Yousuf Chopan was not chargesheeted due to inadequate evidence, the statement added.

“As such, he has been granted default bail by special NIA Court New Delhi on 18.02.2020 and he has been sent back to Kot Bhalwal Jail Jammu under Public Safety Act (PSA) by the order of DM Pulwama,” the statement reads, adding that needless to say, NIA follows the policy of fairest possible investigation.

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