New Delhi: A day after India handed over a “strong demarche” to Pakistan over its continuous support to cross-border terrorism in this country, the National Investigations Agency (NIA) has filed its charge sheet against the suspected terrorist from the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), 21-year-old Bahadur Ali alias Saifullah. Ali has been charged under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Explosives Act, Explosive Substances Act, Arms Act, Foreigners Act and the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act at a District & Sessions Court before judge Amar Nath.
Ali is accused of hatching a conspiracy to bomb Delhi and different parts of Jammu & Kashmir including Poonch and Udhampur. He is also alleged to have played a role in inciting mobs for stone-pelting and engineering other forms of unrest in the Valley following the killing of Hizb ul Mujahideen operative Burhan Wani in the hands of security forces.
Ali has been in judicial custody since August 2016 after his arrest on 25 July that year in the Yahama village in Mawar of Qalamabad, Handwara, North Kashmir. At the time of his arrest, 3 AK-47 rifles, 2 pistols and Rs 23,000 in Indian currency was recovered from him. The custody was extended on 19 December last year to 18 January to help the NIA complete the charge sheet. According to the charge sheet, LeT’s militants like Ali, with the “help of Pakistani forces deployed on the border”, assisted heavily armed terrorists to infiltrate into India, mingle in the local crowd, foment trouble and assault security forces.
A pocket diary was recovered from Ali that contained the names of Indian targets of the LeT. “Bahadur Ali was given training in Pakistan, was given weapons, GPS devices through which he communicated with Pak handlers. It is the strong and clinching evidence on how LeT terrorists were sent across the border to India,” IG Alok Mittal said to journalists after the press conference of the NIA.
At the press conference, IG Sanjeev Singh said, “Recovered articles show that terrorist was provided great references in codes. It shows very highly trained people trained him.”
But it is not the NIA’s charge alone that exposes Pakistan’s designs on India. Ali’s confession was recorded in a video, parts of which are being telecast via different channels. In the video, Ali, who had dropped out of school after the fourth grade, is seen and heard saying that he is a Pakistani national whom a control room ‘Alpha III’ in Pakistan occupied Kashmir guided constantly.
Ali has revealed that it was Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat ud Dawah that had first motivated him. LeT had radicalised him, he said to the NIA. According to him, there are between 30 and 50 trainees in every terrorist training camp run by the LeT, backed by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Some of the terror trainees hail from far-flung areas along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Ali said. In the intervening night between 11 and 12 June 2016, he said, he had infiltrated into India with two accomplices from the LeT.
“There were a few army officers in civilian clothes who checked our preparedness with a check-list,” Ali said about his Pakistani handlers in the video.
As Pakistan has expectedly denied the charges, Minister of State (Prime Minister’s Office) Dr Jitendra Singh said, “If Pakistan continues to be in denial mode on such evidence, ultimately it will harm them.”
Interestingly, Ali had said after being interrogated post-Uri attacks that he did not belong to the LeT module that was trained for the particular attack.