India has decided to formally ask Pakistan to share details of the terrorists behind Pulwama’s attack last year on a convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), people familiar with the development said. The suicide bomb attack killed 40 Indian soldiers and brought the two countries to the brink of war.
A formal judicial request or Letter Rogatory (LR), prepared by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) seeking information on seven perpetrators, four based in Pakistan: Maulana Masood Azhar, her brothers Abdul Rauf Asghar and Ibrahim Athar, and their cousin Ammar Alvi, and three Pakistanis who came to India to carry out the attack, Athar’s son Umar Farooq, Kamran (both killed in clashes with security forces after the Pulwama attack) and Ismail alias Saifullah, are currently being tuned at the Interior Ministry (MHA), the people added on condition of anonymity. Ismail is believed to be hiding in Kashmir.
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Once the MHA finalizes the document, which people said will be ready by the end of the month, permission will be sought from the court to send the court application to Pakistan. “It is the first judicial request of its kind to be sent to Pakistan in the Pulwama attack seeking their cooperation,” said one of the people, a senior government official.
In addition to the whereabouts of Azhar, Asghar, Athar, and Alvi, India is seeking details of communications between them and each other, including WhatsApp chats, voice memos, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls made to and from towards Pakistan, and information on people seen. in photographs and videos recovered from Umar Farooq’s phone, showing different stages of preparation for the Pulwama attack, the official added.
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Farooq was dispatched to India in April 2018 to oversee the Pulwama attack on February 14, 2019, which triggered action by the Indian Air Force (IAF) against a Jaish terror camp deep within Pakistan 12 days later, and It resulted in a dogfight between the two nations’ fighter jets on February 27.
In its official request, the Indian government is also seeking information on the GPS locations extracted from Farooq’s phone, as well as details of the payments worth 10 lakh rupees made to his accounts at Meezan Bank and Allied Bank in Pakistan, recovered by the NIA during the investigation, a second officer said.
The NIA released a detailed 13,500-page charge sheet on Aug. 25 naming the seven Pakistanis, including JeM chief Masood Azhar, and 12 others, for the Pulwama attack.
“A strong judicial request, equipped with irrefutable technical, material and circumstantial evidence, is being sent to Pakistan. We hope that instead of protecting them, Pakistan will provide evidence and take action against Jaish’s boss and his relatives, ”said a second person, an MHA official.
India has previously sent legal requests to Pakistan in the 2016 attack on the IAF base in Pathankot and the Mumbai attacks on 11/26, but to no avail.