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NIA arrests fourth accused in Lethpora CRPF camp attack

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Srinagar, Apr 06: National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday arrested the fourth accused wanted in the attack on CRPF Group Centre in which five paramilitary personnel were killed.

The arrestee was identified as Syed Hilal Andrabi (35), a resident of Ratnipora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

“Arrested accused Syed Hilal Andrabi is an active Over Ground Worker (OGW) of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). He is a key conspirator who provided logistic support in the form of sheltering the militants and conducting reconnaissance of the CRPF Group centre, Lethpora before the attack,” NIA said in a statement.

NIA said that with the arrest of Andrabi, total no of accused arrested in this case has risen to four.

“The three accused that have been already arrested for being a part of the conspiracy for this attack include Fayaz Ahmad Magrey, resident of Lethpora, Awantipora; Manzoor Ahmed Bhat, resident of Pampore, and Nisar Ahmed Tantray, resident of Dar Ganai Gund, Tral,” NIA said.

NIA said that after Andrabi was arrested, he was produced before the court and his five days’ police custody has been obtained for unearthing the larger conspiracy behind this attack.

A case RC No. 10/2018/NIA/DLI (attack on CRPF Group Centre, Lethpora) stands against Andrabi.

NIA said that the Pulwama attack was carried out in the intervening night of 30-31 December, 2017 by three militants of JeM.

The NIA investigation has identified three militants responsible for the attack: Fardeen Ahmad Khandey, son of Ghulam Mohideen Khandey, resident of Nazeempora, Tral; Manzoor Baba, son of Ali Muhammad Baba, resident of Drubgam, Pulwama, and third one a Pakistani militant identified as Abdul Shakoor, resident of Rawalakot area of Pakistan-administered-Kashmir.

All the three militants were killed in a 36-hours-long gunfight in which five CRPF personnel were also killed and three others were grievously injured.

Andrabi’s arrest came days after Nisar Ahmed Tantray, whose brother Noor Trali is believed to have helped revive the Jaish-e-Mommad militant group in Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested by the NIA after being deported from the UAE in the same case.

Earlier last month, the NIA arrested Fayaz Ahmed Magray from Pulwama for allegedly being the “key conspirator” of the 2017 attack and accused him of providing logistical support such as shelter to the militants and conducting reconnaissance of the CRPF Group Centre, Lethpora before the attack.

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