Udhampur attack: Kashmiri trucker remanded in NIA custody

Jammu: A Kashmiri truck driver, who has been arrested on charges of transporting alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant Mohammed Naved Yakub and his accomplice to Jammu before the Udhampur attack, was today remanded in 14-day custody of the NIA.

Khursheed Ahmed Bhat, a trucker from south Kashmir’s Pulwama district was produced by NIA before the court of Judge Y P Kotwal in the High Court complex here early this morning.

“NIA early morning produced truck driver in the fast track/TADA court in Jammu. They got 14-day remand”, court sources said.

He was brought from Kashmir from Jammu after his arrest yesterday.

Khursheed was arrested after he was allegedly identified by Naved, a Pakistani national in his early 20s, who was “captured” by villagers after he tried to escape after the militant strike on August five.

Naved, claimed by security agencies as a Pakistani resident, has been in Srinagar since August 19 and NIA conducted Test Identification Parade of people detained by the local police in connection with the attack.

NIA has also announced a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh for capture of Abu Qasim, a Pakistani national hailing from Bhawalpur and commander of LeT’s South Kashmir operations.

He is accused of arranging logistics including transportation, accommodation and food for Naved and three other Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives who infiltrated the Valley from Gulmarg sector in June this year.

NIA sources said Khursheed, a history-sheeter, had taken Naved and his accomplice Mohammed Noman alias Momin to Jammu on July 20 on a reconnaissance mission during which the timings of convoys of BSF and Army were marked.

The militants initially wanted to attack either of the convoys then and there but decided against it at the last minute and were ferried back to the Kashmir Valley, officials said. (PTI)