J&K: NIA files chargesheet against 3 accused in LeT recruitment case

Srinagar (NVI): National Investigation Agency (NIA) today filed a chargesheet against three people from South Kashmirs’ Kulgam district in a case related to recruitment of local youths into the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit.

In a statement issued here, the NIA said that the chargesheet was filed in a Special NIA Court in Jammu against three accused identified as Muneeb Hameed Bhat, resident of village Nanibugh, Kulgam, Junaid Ahmad Mattoo, resident of Villagre Khudwani, Kulgam, Umer Rashid Wani, resident of Village Khudwani, Kulgam, under section 120(B) of Ranbir Penal Code, and sections 13 (2), 18, 39 and 40 of UAP Act, 1967.

“The instant case arose out of FIR No.197/2017 dated 09.11.2017, Police station Kulgam. It pertains to subversive activities of militant organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Kulgam district whereby it was motivating youths such as accused Muneeb Hameed Bhat and others to join Lashkar-e-Taiba and organized their travel to Pakistan for militant training on the basis of valid travel documents on the recommendation of separatist leaders. Later, NIA took over the case on 25.09.2018 and re-registered it as RC-28/2018/NIA/DLI,” the NIA said in its chargesheet.

The statement further stated that investigation by NIA established that LeT militant Junaid Ahmad Mattoo motivated accused Muneeb Hameed Bhat to join LeT and go to Pakistan for militant training. Another LeT militant Umer Rashid Wani gave him funds to meet the expenses of his Pakistan visit.

In July-August 2017, accused Muneeb Hameed Bhat visited Pakistan on valid travel documents for militant training with the assistance of separatist leaders. He was imparted weapons training and also training for using secret social media chat platforms, according to NIA.

After returning from Pakistan, he remained constantly in touch with LeT handlers in Pakistan and active militants of Kulgam area on secret messaging platforms for carrying out subversive and militant activities in Kashmir Valley. He was working as a sleeper cell of LeT and further intended to join the militant ranks in militant organisation LeT, as per the NIA statement.

The investigation has also established that during the year 2016 to 2018, many Kashmiri youths were sent by separatist leaders to Pakistan on valid travel documents for getting militant training with active assistance of the commanders of militant groups. These youth got militant training in the militant camps of Pakistan for period ranging from 5 to 15 days. After returning, they are initially used as sleeper cells by militant organisations and subsequently recruited for active militancy.

Accused Junaid Ahmed Mattoo and Umer Rashid Wani were killed in separate encounters in J&K in 2017 and 2018. Further investigation in the case is continued, read the statement.