NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a resident of Budgam, J&K, for having facilitated the movement of Pakistani IED maker and Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist Muhammad Umer Farooq, who assembled the vehicle-borne IED used in the Pulwama terror attack of February 2019, after the latter had infiltrated into India in April 2018.
Mohd Iqbal Rather, a resident of Futlipura, Charar-e-Shareef in Budgam and the sixth accused to be arrested in the Pulwama attack case, was part of Jaish’s transportation module and had assisted Farooq in his journey via the national highway near the International Border in Jammu region to south Kashmir.
Farooq was killed along with another Pulwama attack accused Kamran in an encounter with the security forces on March 29, 2019.
Rather, 25, was in constant touch with the Pakistan-based leadership of Jaish and was communicating with them via secure messaging applications. He was in judicial custody since September 2018— some six months after he facilitated Farooq’s travel— in another Jaish case investigated by the NIA.
This other case — the Jhajjar-Kotli encounter case — relates to a September 2018 gunfight in which three Pakistani terrorists were killed in Jammu’s Reasi district. Rather had aided these terrorists too.
Rather was produced in an NIA special court in Jammu on Thursday, which granted it seven-day custody.