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NIA takes over case related to conspiracy by front of JeM

JAMMU: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday took over a case related to conspiracy by terror organization Lashker-e-Mustafa (LeM), a front of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad, nearly a month after the arrest of its chief and his sensational disclosures, including that NSA Ajit Doval's office in Delhi was filmed for a possible terror attack.

LeM chief Hidayat-ullah Malik was arrested by Anantnag police from Kunjwani area of Jammu on February 6 as he was planning to set up a base in the winter capital and also plan terror attacks.

''The NIA registered a case relating to conspiracy by frontal running terror organization LeM, working at the behest of proscribed terrorist organization JeM, to carry out terrorist activities in Jammu area with the aim of threatening the sovereignty, integrity and security of India,'' a spokesperson of the probe agency said.

He said the case was initially registered at Gangyal Police station on February 6 under various sections of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

''The NIA has re-registered this case on Tuesday and taken over the investigation,'' the spokesman said. He said one hand grenade, three magazines and 28 rounds with other incriminating material were recovered from the possession of the arrested terrorist.

''Malik had done reconnaissance of many security installations in Jammu and Delhi in 2018 and 2019 for carrying out terror attacks. He has been associated with other terror groups in past and has furthered subversive and terror activities in Kashmir valley,'' the spokesperson said.

He said the terror group had also committed a daylight bank robbery in which Rs 60 lakh were looted from J&K Bank, Main Branch Shopian in November 2020.

''Investigation in the case continues,'' the spokesperson said.

Earlier on February 14, Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbag Singh had said Malik was leading LeM after it was floated in August last year although he was active for a long time in militancy.

''He had worked as an overground worker and floated the group on the directions of JeM. He was planning to set up a base in Jammu to carry forward terror activities in the region as well besides receiving arms and ammunition which were being smuggled from Pakistan through the border, underground tunnels or dropped by drones before their smuggling to Kashmir,'' the DGP had said.

The police chief said JeM was involved in various terror activities in 2018 and his interrogation revealed that he was also a close associate of JeM commander Ashiq Nengroo who used to receive arms consignments from Pakistan in Jammu before he crossed the border along with his family through an underground tunnel beneath the International Border.

''Nengroo alias doctor, at the behest of Pakistani agencies, is directing terror activities. Malik visited Delhi on the directions of Nengroo and forwarded a video to him after conducting a recce of the National Security Advisor's office, that means JeM is planning attacks on targets in Delhi as well. His arrest is a big achievement for the police and exposed the plan of the terrorist group,'' the DGP said.

''Singh said Malik, a resident of south Kashmir, had also set up a network to get weapons from Bihar and so far seven pistols have been brought from there and distributed for terror activities.

Later, his contact in Bihar, Javaid Alam Ansari, was arrested from his house at Deobahuara village of Chapra and was brought to Jammu on February 20 on transit remand for questioning.

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PTI