Pak national among three operatives of LeT offshoot charge-sheeted in militant conspiracy case in Jammu: NIA

JAMMU — The NIA on Tuesday filed a supplementary charge sheet against three militant operatives including a Pakistani national of ‘The Resistance Front’ – an offshoot of proscribed Lashkar-Taiba (LeT) – for conspiring to unleash militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, an official said.

The charge sheet was filed against Habibullah Malik alias ‘Sajid Jutt’, hailing from Kasur district in Pakistan’s Punjab province, and two south Kashmir residents Hilal Yaqoob Deva alias “Sethi Soab” and Musiab Fayaz Baba alias “Shoaib Zarar” of Shopian before the NIA special court here.

They were charged under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, a spokesperson of the federal agency said.

Malik, who is known by various other names like Saifullah, Noomi, Numan, Langda, Ali Sajid, Usman Habib and Shani, has been found to have been involved in various militant attacks in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu region, the official said.

The supplementary charge sheet follows investigations in the case registered suo-motu by the NIA on June 21 last year.

The case relates to a conspiracy hatched “physically as well as in cyberspace” by various proscribed militant organisations to spread fear and terror and disrupt peace in J&K by carrying out attacks using sticky bombs, Improvised Explosive Devices and small arms.

“Investigations so far have revealed that the charge-sheeted trio had entered into a criminal conspiracy to carry out militant attacks on security forces and others in Jammu and Kashmir with the intention to wage war against the Government of India. Malik was an active commander of Pakistan-based TRF,” the spokesperson said.

The official said Malik was engaged in motivating vulnerable Kashmiri youth to join the TRF and LeT for carrying out militant activities in J&K.

The spokesperson alleged that Malik had radicalised Hilal and Musiab, both of whom had started working as Over Ground Workers (OGWs) for him.

On Malik’s directions, the two OWGs had collected and transported funds and weapons among his other OGWs to facilitate and support militant attacks in J&K, the agency said.

“The entire conspiracy was found to be part of the bigger plans of the banned militant outfits to commit acts of militancy and violence by indoctrinating local youth and mobilising overground workers to disturb peace and communal harmony in J&K,” the spokesperson said.

With the various banned militant organisations floating new outfits to carry out their militant-related activities in J&K, the NIA has stepped up its crackdown and investigations in the region in recent months.

Under the NIA scanner are outfits such as TRF, United Liberation Front Jammu and Kashmir, Mujahideen Gazwat-ul-Hind, Jammu & Kashmir Freedom Fighters, Kashmir Tigers, PAAF and others.

These outfits are affiliated with Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Al-Badr and Al-Qaeda, the spokesperson said. — (PTI)