Pulwama Attack: Car Used In Bombing Was Bought 10 Days Before Attack; Owner Evading Arrest
Days after the dastardly Pulwama terror attacks which left over 40 CRPF jawans martyred, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has identified the owner of the vehicle, a Maruti Eeco, which was used by the suicide bomber to carry out the attack on February 14.
What have the investigators found?
After taking help from forensic experts and Maruti engineers, the investigators singled in on Sajjad Bhat, a Jaish member who reportedly bought the car just 10 days before the horrific attack took place. Reportedly, the investigators used the car’s chassis number and engine number to track the original owner of the car. The NIA has confirmed that Bhat was a resident of Bijbehara in Anantnag district.
Hindustan Times quoted a spokesperson as saying, “A Maruti Eeco vehicle having chassis number MA3ERLF1SOO183735 Engine G12BN164140 was sold to Mohammad Jaleel Ahmed Haqani, a resident of Heaven colony, Anantnag in the year 2011. It subsequently exchanged hands seven times and finally reached Sajjad Bhat, son of Mohammad Maqbool Bhat, a resident of Bijbehara, district Anantnag, who had acquired the vehicle on February 4. Sajjad was a student of Siraj-ul-Uloom, Shopain.”
The investigators with the help of Jammu & Kashmir police have conducted a raid at his house on February 23, however, Sajjad was not present at the house during that time and has been evading arrest since then. The car was resold seven times before it met its fate on February 14 and the details of the six previous owners were verified by the investigative agencies, however, their connection with the terror attack has not yet been found.
On February 20, the NIA took over the case from the Jammu & Kashmir police and have re-registered the case. The state police had registered a case at the Awantipora police station on February 14. Reportedly, the NIA has already gathered crucial information from the blasts site in Lethpora in Pulwama district and has been questioning at least a dozen people in connection with the terror attacks. On February 14, a suicide bomber rammed a car filled with explosives into a CRPF bus which was part of a 78-vehicle convoy carrying over 2,500 personnel from Jammu to Kashmir.