SRINAGAR: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday took custody of five Pulwama residents arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police on charges of abetting the escape of Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Abu Hanzullah from SMHS hospital in Srinagar.
An official NIA spokesman said that the Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar granted a two-day transit remand of the five accused, who had been nabbed by police on February 8, two days after the escape of 22-year-old Hanzullah.
The five accused – Shakeel Ahmed Bhat, Tika Khan, Syed Tajamul Islam, Mohammed Shafi Wani and Jan Mohammed Ganai – are all residents of Pulwama district in south Kashmir.
The NIA re-registered the case pertaining to the escape from custody of Jhatt from the SMHS hospital where he was brought in for treatment on February 6.
The accused will be produced before the NIA special court at Jammu on Friday for their police custody, the spokesman said.
Two policemen – head constable Mushtaq Ahmed and constable Babar Ahmed – of the Jammu and Kashmir Police were killed during Hanzullah’s escape at SMHS.
Police have described Shakeel Ahmed Bhat as one of the masterminds of the escape of Hanzullah and that his motorcycle was used in the escape of the prisoner.
Tika Khan is alleged to have provided his car for further transportation of Hanzullah out of the city.
Hanzullah is at present believed to be in Pulwama area, police have said.
Shafi Wani is alleged to have posed as a patient to provide cover for the militants to escape.