Terrorists took instructions from handlers in Pakistan: NIA

Sources said as per the evidence collected so far, before executing the attack, the remote handlers were contacted and permission taken.
Terrorists took instructions from handlers in Pakistan: NIA

NEW DELHI: Terrorists who attacked a bus carrying pilgrims in Jammu’s Reasi on June 9 received instructions from their handlers based in Pakistan, a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) found.

Sources said as per the evidence collected so far, before executing the attack, the remote handlers were contacted and permission taken.

The investigators found that a Rajouri-based overground worker (OGW) Hakam Khan alias Hakin Din, who has been arrested in connection with the case, had sheltered the Pakistani terrorists for nearly a week before the day the bus was attacked. Khan also helped them in reaching the attack spot, sources added.

“The arrested OGW played the role of a guide to take the terrorists to the spot where the incident took place and helped them identify the curve on the road, where vehicles used to slow down. Even the exit plan was finalised,” a source aware of the probe details said.

The terrorists navigated the thick forests of Rajouri, Poonch, and Kathua using a mobile application, Alpine West, which gave them real-time information about culverts, dense forests and other obstructions, sources said.

The probe agency suspects the role of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba’s Sajjid Jutt in executing the attack. There is a reward of `10 lakh for providing information leading to his arrest in connection with another case. Two other Pakistani terrorists Sajid Ali and Abu Qatal are also suspected to have been involved in the attack, sources said.

Terrorists opened fire at a bus carrying pilgrims from Shiv Khori to Katra on the evening of June 9 in the Pouni area of Reasi. The driver of the bus lost control, causing it to fall into a gorge.

Nine people, including a minor, were killed in the attack.

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