The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a man from South Kashmir's Pulwama district for his alleged involvement in 2019 Pulwama suicide bombing that killed 40 paramilitary CRPF personnel.
Bilal Ahmed Kuchey, son of Ghulam Nabi Kuchey of Hajibal Kakapora in Pulwama was arrested on July 5 in a case RC - 02 /2019/ NIA /JMU pertaining to the suicide car-bomb attack on the CRPF bus at Lethpora in Pulwama.
NIA spokeswoman, Sonia Narang said that Kuchey, who runs a sawmill, was a militant associate, "harboured and extended logistic support" to the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants involved in the attack.
"The main perpetrators in the case stayed in his house and he further introduced them to other over ground workers who provided safe houses during their stay and planning of the attack," she said in a statement.
Kuchay, according to NIA, provided JeM militants with high-end mobile phones which were used by them to communicate with the Pakistan-based JeM leadership as well as among themselves for giving final touches to their planning and for execution of the attack.
"A mobile phone provided by him was also used for recording the video clip of Fidayeen Adil Ahmed Dar, which became viral after the attack," the NIA said.
On 14 February 2019, 40 paramilitary CRPF personnel were killed and several injured in a powerful blast along the Srinagar-Jammu highway at Lethpora. Dar, a resident of Gundibagh in Pulwama, had rammed an explosive-laden Eeco car into a CRPF bus which was part of a convoy moving toward Srinagar.
The NIA spokeswoman said Kuchey was produced before the NIA Special Court, Jammu on Monday and 10 days' NIA remand was taken for his custodial interrogation.
This the seventh arrest made by NIA in this case so far.
"Investigation in this case is underway," the spokesman said.
On July 2, NIA had arrested Muhammad Iqbal Rather, 25, son of Abdul Khaliq Rather of Futlipura, Charar-e-Sharief in Budgam for his alleged involvement in the case.
Initially, an FIR No 20/2019 was registered by Awantipora Police Station on February 14, 2019 into the incident under sections 302 and 307 of the Ranbir Penal Code, section 3 of Explosive Substance Act and sections 16,18 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
However, the NIA later registered a case RC-02/2019/NIA/JMU on February 20, 2019 at the NIA Police Station, Jammu and began investigation.
On February 28 this year, NIA had claimed to have achieved a "major breakthrough in the suicide bombing case and revealed that the explosives used in the attack were determined to be Ammonium Nitrate, Nitro-Glycerin and RDX.
The NIA had said the militants who were involved in the attack were found to be Muddasir Ahmad Khan, JeM’s divisional commander of south Kashmir.
He was killed in a gunfight with the forces on March 11, 2019.
While Pakistani militants Farooq and IED expert Kamran were killed on March 29, 2019, the owner of the car Sajjad Ahmad Bhat of Marhama, Anantnag was killed on June 16 last year and Qari Yassir, JeM’s commander for Kashmir was killed on January 25 this year.