Pathankot Attack: NIA names JeM chief Azhar, aides proclaimed offenders
The NIA has named JeM Chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his accomplices as proclaimed offenders under its chargesheet. The NIA also stated that a red corner notice was issued against Azhar and his associates. They have also forwarded a dossier to the CBI who will follow up with Interpol. The move seeks to increase international pressure on Pakistan.
Pathankot Attack: NIA charge-sheet against JeM Chief Masood Azhar
The National Investigation Agency has filed a charge-sheet against the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) Chief Masood Azhar for orchestrating the Pathankot Airbase Terror Attack in January 2016. The charge-sheet in the case provides evidence on the attack at the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot. It also linked JeM with blasts in Samba, Tangdhar, Kathua, and Rajbagh in Jammu & Kashmir in 2015.
Azhar's brother Abdul Rauf Asghar also named in charge-sheet
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) named Masood Azhar's brother Abdul Rauf Asghar in the charge-sheet along with two handlers Shahid Latif and Kashif Jan. They have been charged for offences under various Indian Penal Code sections, including the Arms Act, the Explosive Substances Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. The charge-sheet has been filed in the Panchkula Special Court.
Offences established against JeM attackers
According to the charge-sheet, similar offences have also been established against the attackers from JeM - Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar, Abdul Qayum, and Umar Farooq - who had executed the terror strike at Pathankot Airbase on 2 Jan'16.
Latif showed Google Maps to potential attackers
The Pathankot Attack was reportedly planned by JeM operative Shahid Latif at a meeting in Pakistan's Sialkot in April 2014. Latif, who trained the potential attackers with the help of 'Google Maps', believed it was "easy" to launch the strike on Pathankot Airbase as it was surrounded by forests. The attack claimed eight lives, including that of seven security personnel and injured over 38.
No evidence provided by Pakistan
Despite repeated reminders through the Indian External Affairs Ministry, Pakistan didn't provide any evidence in the Pathankot case. The country also remained silent on allowing the NIA team's visit; it, however, hasn't given access to Azhar and other suspects. It hasn't acted on Interpol's red corner notice issued against all suspects, which shared evidence like terrorists' telephone conversations, addresses, family details, financial details, etc.
Forensic and technical evidence
The NIA reportedly had forensic and technical evidence pointing to the involvement of Pakistan-based JeM in the deadly terror strike. The US had also provided crucial evidence, in the form of JeM members' chats and email conversations to the NIA.
Evidence pointing to JeM's involvement in other attacks
The Pathankot attackers' main handler, Kashif Jan, claimed he planned attacks at Kathua and Samba on 20-21 Mar'15 in his Facebook messages. He was in touch with the Pathankot attackers over the phone during the strike. Three died in the first series of Kathua attacks; NIA claimed it recovered digital and documentary evidence pointing to JeM's involvement in the Samba and Rajbagh attacks too.
"The slips (found at Pathankot), along with other corroborative evidence, established they (attackers) were JeM members based in Pakistan and that the attack was one of the series carried out by them after Tangdhar, Samba, Kathua, Rajbagh in revenge for the death of Afzal Guru."
NSG ignored distress call of 2 guards: Officer
In an official statement to the NIA, an air force officer has alleged that the NSG ignored a distress call made by guards who were pinned down by terrorists during the Pathankot attack. Wing Commander Abhijit Sarin said the NSG commander ignored his pleas to organise a rescue party. However, NSG sources contradicted Sarin, saying "there was a chance of friendly fire."