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Close aide of Pulwama attack mastermind arrested in Delhi

Source: PTI
March 22, 2019 23:05 IST

Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist Sajjad Khan, a close aide of Pulwama attack mastermind Mudasir Khan was arrested by the police New Delhi, officials said on Friday.

They said Sajjad Ahmed Khan, 27, a resident of Pulwama is also suspected to be involved in the conspiracy of Pulwama attacks.

Sajjad, who was arrested near the Lajpat Rai market late on Thursday night is believed to have been in regular touch with the terror strike mastermind before and after the attack, police said.

On Mudasir's instructions, Sajjad had moved to Delhi and lived here under the guise of a shawl vendor to establish a sleeper cell of JeM.

Mudasir was killed in an exchange of fire with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir recently.

 

On the day of Pulwama attack, Mudasir contacted Sajjad on whatsapp and informed him about the attack on Central Reserve Police Force convoy.

Mudasir sent him Sajjad a video of Adil Dar -- the fidayeen who carried out the attack and later deleted it from his phone, Pramod Singh Kushwah, Deputy Commisisoner of Police (Special Cell) said.

"He was tasked by Mudasir to establish a sleeper cell here. He was specially sent here to carry out reconnaissance of important targets and to set up a hideout in Delhi," Kushwah said.

He was also tasked with radicalising and recruiting Muslim youth from Uttar Pradesh and other states, provide them weapons training, explosives and field craft, raising funds and collecting weapons, Kushwah added.

Mudasir instructed Sajjad to spot young Kashmiri youths for fidayeen attacks. Sajjad then motivated and recruited Bilal, a resident of Gadpora in Jammu and Kashmir and Tanveer, a resident of Midura in Tral, he said.

The National Investigation Agency had recently registered a case in which Sajjad along with Mudasir Khan was named as accused.

Sajjad's two brothers were slain JeM terrorists, Kushwah said.

The three brothers were initially engaged in stone pelting. In February 2015, Sajjad's brother Ishfaq was arrested under Public Safety Act (PSA) for stone pelting and remained in Srinagar jail for about nine months, he said.

In Srinagar jail, Ishfaq came in contact with JeM terrorist Noor Mohammad Tantarey.

In 2017, Tantarey died in an exchange of fire with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, the officer said.

After his release from the jail, Ishfaq initially worked as an over ground worker for JeM and later turned into an active JeM terrorist.

He remained active for about 18 months but died in an exchange of fire with security forces on April 25, 2018 in Lam in Tral, Pulwama along with two Pakistan terrorists, the officer said.

After his death, Mudasir Khan used to frequently visit his residence in Pulwama and motivated Showkat and Sajjad Ahmad Khan to join the JeM.

By the end of June 2018, Showkat also joined the JeM, he added.

"Showkat also subsequently died in an exchange of fire with the security forces in September 2018 in Chan in Tral, Pulwama along with Usman Haider, the nephew of Maulana Masood Azhar and son of terrorist Ibrahim Azhar - younger brother of terrorist Masood Azhar and mastermind of IC-814 hijacking to Kandahar", the DCP said.

After the death of Showkat, Mudassir started visiting the residence of Sajjad more frequently and motivated Sajjad to work as JeM Cadre.

Sajjad initially provided information about movement of convoys and cordon and search operations carried by Army, the officer added.

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