2023 Poonch terror attack case: Probe handed over to NIA, Pak-based handlers’ role suspected

According to the officials, the probe by the NIA sleuths would also be in the direction of ascertaining any “common angle” in last year’s attack with the recent terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only.

NEW DELHI: The government has handed over the probe into last year's terrorist attack on an Army convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch, which left five personnel dead, to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), as Pak-based handlers are suspected to be behind the attack, officials said Tuesday.

The officials in the NIA said that the process of taking over the investigation into the matter from Jammu & Kashmir Police has begun and a fresh FIR will be registered by the agency anytime soon.

According to the officials, the probe by the NIA sleuths would also be in the direction of ascertaining any “common angle” in last year’s attack with the recent terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. The involvement of Pakistan-based handlers in the case would also be looked into, as this cannot be ruled out, they added.

On April 20, 2023, five Army personnel were martyred and another was seriously injured after their vehicle caught fire following a terrorist attack in the Bhata Dhurian area under Poonch district.

The Army had then said the vehicle carrying soldiers came under fire from unidentified terrorists and it caught fire because of the likely use of grenades. The victims of the attack were from a Rashtriya Rifles unit deployed for counter-terror operations.

Meanwhile, the NIA on Tuesday dispatched a team of its officers to assist the Jammu and Kashmir police in its probe into the terrorist attack on an Army convoy in Kathua that occurred on Monday.

Five Army personnel, including a junior commissioned officer, were killed, and as many were injured when a group of heavily armed terrorists ambushed a patrolling party on the rugged Machedi-Kindli-Malhar mountainous road near the Badnota village in Lohai Malhar, approximately 150 km from the Kathua district’s headquarters. This was the fifth terror attack in the Jammu region during a period of one month.

Image used for representational purposes only.
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