SRI NAGAR: Two youth of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), who were arrested after the September 18, 2016, militant attack on the Army base in Uri, close to Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, were on Wednesday released by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and handed over to the Army for their repatriation to Pakistan.
“Faisal Hussain Awan, 20, son of Gul Akbar and Ahsan Khursheed, 19, alias DC, son of Mohammad Kursheed, both residents of PoK, were released today,” an official of NIA said.
He said they were handed over to Army’s 16 Corps Headquarters in Jammu to be sent back to Pakistan, adding that after over five months of investigation, the sleuths quizzed the arrested duo and made them undertake different tests to ascertain their involvement in the attack. He said it was found during the investigation that the duo was not involved in the Uri attack.
Three days after the deadly attack on the Army base in Uri in which 19 soldiers were killed and over a dozen injured, the Army and the BSF in a joint operation had on September 21 had arrested the two PaK residents and alleged that they were acting as guides for Pakistan-based militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed and other infiltrating groups of militants.
After the NIA took over the Uri probe, the agency took custody of the duo and questioned them to ascertain their involvement in the Uri attack, which was one of the deadliest militant attacks on security forces in Kashmir.
“The investigation carried out by the NIA revealed that the two had crossed over to the Indian side after an altercation with their parents due to study pressure,” the official said. He said further investigation is continuing in the case.
The NIA had claimed on September 27 last that the duo, during interrogation, disclosed that they were tasked by JeM commanders to facilitate infiltration of a group of four JeM cadre, who carried out the Uri attack.