Written byRamya Patelkhana ·
With the help of forensic experts and automobile specialists, National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigators probing the Pulwama attack have identified the vehicle used to carry out the attack.
A red Maruti Eeco laden with explosives was used in the attack. Its owner was identified as Sajjad Bhat, a resident of Bijbehara in J&K's Anantnag, who's been evading arrest since the attack.
"Sajjad Bhat has reportedly joined Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). A photograph to this effect has also appeared in social media where Sajjad is seen holding weapons," the NIA was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The NIA had earlier obtained crucial a CCTV footage of the vehicle used to carry out the Pulwama attack in which as many as 40 CRPF personnel were martyred.
NIA: Sajjad Bhat has reportedly joined Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). A photograph to this effect has also appeared in social media where Sajjad is seen holding weapons. https://t.co/F7ndntLAOC— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2019
"A Maruti Eeco vehicle... was sold to Md. Jaleel Ahmed Haqani a resident of Heaven colony, Anantnag, in 2011," according to a statement issued by the NIA.
"It subsequently exchanged hands seven times and finally reached Sajjad Bhat, son of Md. Maqbool Bhat resident of Bijbehara, District Anantnag who had acquired the vehicle on 4 February 2019," it added.
An official spokesperson said that the NIA made a significant breakthrough in the Pulwama attack probe by the identifying the involved car and its owner after collecting the vehicle remnants recovered from the incident site.
According to the NIA investigators, a Maruti Eeco with the Chassis Number MA3ERLF1SOO183735 and Engine G12BN164140 was used in the terror attack.
The identified Maruti Eeco vehicle was purchased by Sajjad Bhat on 4 February, a spokesperson said. He added Bhat was a student of Siraj-ul-Uloom in Shopian.
An NIA team along with the police conducted raids at Bhat's residence on Saturday. However, he wasn't present there.
NIA said Bhat has joined JeM and he was seen holding weapons in a photograph posted on social media.
A convoy of CRPF, which had 70 buses, was attacked on the Jammu-Srinagar highway on 14 February.
Terrorist Adil Ahmad Dar rammed a car laced with nearly 350kg of explosives into a bus, triggering a blast. In the dastardly attack, 40 jawans were killed and nearly 50 were seriously injured.
Terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for worst terror attack since the 2016 Uri attack.
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