The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has on Monday filed a charge sheet against the banned terror outfit Jaishe-Mohammed and its founder Masood Azhar, as accused in the January 1 attacks on Pathankot Air Force station. The charge sheet submitted by the NIA at a Panch Kula court in Chandigarh detailed the conspiracy of the terrorists which had roots in Pakistan.
The NIA charge sheet revealed that the Pathankot attack was not limited to its founder Masood Azhar, hinting at the involvement of Pakistan’s authorities in the case. It also named prime accused Masood Azhar’s brother Abdul Rauf Asghar, Shahid Latif of Gujranwala, Pakistan, and Kashif Jain, the main handler of the four killers as accused in its charge sheet.
“Investigations found that the terrorists who attacked the Pathankot air base in January 2015, were from Pakistan. They received training in the PoK region and underwent extensive motivational and tactical training before being radicalized and prepared to work for Jihad. Intelligence report specifies that the banned terrorist organization Jaishe-Mohammed has been carrying recruitments in the PoK region, with a chief target of carrying out strikes in India. The motive behind the attack was to let the Indian government know that Jaishe-Mohammed is active”, the NIA’s charge sheet stated.
Lt Col Niranjan EK and six security personnel lost their lives with 37 others injured, in the operation to weed out the terrorists from the air base. Despite all the four attackers being killed, the Indian government plans to use the charge sheet filed in the case to impose UN sanctions against Azhar, a move which has been blocked by China in the recent time. In 1999, Masood Azhar was released in exchange for a hijacked Indian airlines plane.
NIA investigation revealed that the terrorists used social media platform Facebook to communicate with each other in real time while planning for the attacks. It has been reported that they code-name the operation as ‘Nikaah’ (marriage) and the attackers were called ‘baraati’ (wedding guests).
The Investigation authorities have filed cases against the accused Masood Azhar and his organization under various sections of the unlawful activities prevention act. However, so far there has not been a positive reply from Pakistan over action against Azhar despite repeated requests from the Indian government.