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NIA chargesheets five accused in Rajouri attacks case of January 2023

The accused had orchestrated the recruitment and dispatch of LeT terrorists from Pakistan to target innocent civilians, particularly from the minority community in J&K, as well as security personnel : NIA

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New Delhi, March 1

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) charge-sheeted five accused, including three absconding Pakistan-based handlers of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit, in the Rajouri attacks case of January 2023.

The case relates to a heinous terror attack on civilians at village Dhangri, District Rajouri on 1st January 2023, followed by an IED blast the next day. Seven innocent people, including two children, were killed and several others severely injured in the attacks.

Three of chargesheeted individuals are LeT handlers, identified as Saifullah and Abu Qatal. While Abu Qatal and Sajit Jutt are Pakistani nationals, Qasim had exfiltrated to Pakistan sometime around 2002 and had joined the LeT terrorist ranks there.

As per investigations, the trio had orchestrated the recruitment and dispatch of LeT terrorists from Pakistan to target innocent civilians, particularly from the minority community in Jammu & Kashmir, as well as security personnel. The attacks were carried out under the directions of these Pakistan-based handlers.

Saifullah is currently a highly placed LeT Commander, and was responsible for engineering the overall conspiracy from Pakistan, along with the other two. Mohd Qasim is presently the right hand of highly placed LeT Commanders. Abu Qatal had come to India in 2002-03 and was active in the Poonch-Rajouri range, along with other terrorists.

The other two charge-sheeted accused are Nisar Ahmed and Mushtaq Hussain, both Overground workers (OGWs) of the LeT and are residents of Mohra, Gursai, Tehsil Mendhar, District Poonch. The duo was arrested during the course of the investigations by the NIA. 

It was found during investigations that they had provided logistical support to the terrorists on the directions of Abu Qatal. Along with a juvenile, who was also apprehended for aiding and abetting the perpetrators, they had provided food, shelter, and other types of logistics support to the terrorists for approximately three months following the attack in Dhangri. They had also attempted to conceal evidence by destroying the mobile phone used for clandestine communication with the Pakistan-based LeT commanders.

Nisar had also received consignment of arms, ammunition and cash sent by the Pakistan based handlers for the terrorists.  Investigations have revealed that Nisar had come in contact with Abu Qatal during the latter’s stay in India. He had remained in touch with Abu Qatal even after the latter’s return to Pakistan.

In the chargesheet filed, the two arrested adult accused and the Pak-based handlers have been charged under UA(P) Act and various sections of IPC. The Final Report against the apprehended juvenile will be submitted to the Hon’ble Juvenile Justice Board, Rajouri in due course, added officials. 



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