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Udhampur terror attack: Truck driver remanded in custody

Rajasthan High Court

Jammu:  NIA today produced truck driver Khursheed Ahmed Bhat, who allegedly took LeT terrorist Mohammed Naved Yakub and his accomplice to Jammu before the Udhampur attack, in a court here which remanded him in 14-day custody.

Amid tight security, NIA produced him in 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 Ahmed Bhat alias ‘Surya’ was arrested after he was identified by Naved, a Pakistani national in his early 20s, who was captured by villagers after he tried to escape after the terror strike on August five.

Naved, a resident of Faisalabad in Pakistan, 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.

The driver, said to be an overground operative of the banned LeT, is a resident of Awantipura, 33 kms south of here.

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.

Khursheed, 35, has already served a prison term of two-and-a-half years for alleged drugs smuggling and cases are registered against him for involvement in stone-pelting incidents in 2010 and 2011.

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