Amarnath yatra attack: A deadly terrorist attack on Amarnath yatra had shocked India. Terrorists had killed a number of Amarnath pilgrims, including women, after attacking a bus in Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Now, the Jammu and Kashmir Police have filed a chargesheet against 11 people in the case. Police have accused a juvenile in the case also. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was set up by the Jammu and Kashmir Police to probe the incident. Superintendent of Police Tahir Ashraf has led the SIT probe and revealed that how phone call on bike breakdown helped Police crack the case. The phone call was recorded by the Jammu and Kashmir Police a day before the attack on Amarnath yatris. This had provided the first clue, according to Indian Express report.
Before the last year’s attack, the Amarnath yatra was targeted was in 2001 when terrorists had struck in the Sheshnag area close to the holy cave of Amarnath, killing 13 people. Prior to that, terrorists had attack Amarnath pilgrims on August 1, 2000 in Pahalgam area, killing 30 people, who also included porters.
“When we began the investigation, it was a blind case. We started collecting evidence from the spot, spoke to survivors, especially the bus driver, but there was no lead,’’ Ashraf was quoted as saying IE. “We hadn’t heard any chatter and there was nothing that pointed to the identity of the attackers,” he said. “We found a cellphone tower close to the spot, and sought the tower dump (details of calls made through the tower) for the day of the attack. It was massive. We would have needed 500 people to analyse this data. So we decided to scan the data for a few hours only,’’ he said.
“Luckily, we found an ‘adverse number’ active around the spot. It belonged to Zahoor Ahmad Shaikh, 26, of Khudwani in Kulgam district. He was working as a driver with the State Road Transport Corporation and had been on our radar for some time. His number was under surveillance and his phone conversations were being recorded regularly. We sought his call detail records (CDR), and found that his location was close to the spot,” he said. “We saw that he was in constant touch with Ajaz Ahmad Wagay, a resident of Posh Kreedi Srigufwara. Wagay, a medical representative, was not on our radar,’’ Ashraf said
“All the militants involved in the attack have been killed in encounters. Three overground workers (Shaikh, Wagay and Bilal Reshi) who helped the militants are in judicial custody. The juvenile was released on bail. Three of the accused are absconding,” he said. The first arrest, according to Ashraf, was Wagay. “We had informed (police in) Kulgam district, who picked him up,’’ he said. It has been learnt that the three absconding accused are Khalid Muzaffar Dar, 20, Tanveer Ahmad Dar, 20, Sarjeel Ahmad Sheikh, 20, all residents of Khudwani. “We are looking for them,’’ said SP Ashraf.