SRINAGAR: Two youth of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK), who were arrested immediately after the September 18 militant attack on the Army base in Uri, close to Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, were released on Wednesday by National Investigation Agency (NIA) and handed over to the army for their repatriation to Pakistan.
They were, over the five-month long investigation found to have no links to the attack.
“Faisal Hussain Awan, 20, son of Gul Akbar and Ahsan Khursheed, 19 alias DC son of Mohammad Kursheed, both residents of PaK, were released today,” an official of NIA said.
He said they were handed over to Army’s 16 Corps Headquarters in Jammu to be sent back to Pakistan, adding that after over five months of investigation, the sleuths quizzed the arrested duo and put them to different tests to ascertain their involvement in the attack. He said it was found during the investigation that the duo was not involved in the Uri attack.
Three days after the deadly militant attack on the army base in Uri in which 19 soldiers were killed and over a dozen injured, army and BSF in a joint operation on September 21 had arrested the two PaK residents and alleged that they were acting as guides for Pakistan-based militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed and infiltrating groups of militants.
After the NIA took over the Uri probe, the investigation agency took custody of the duo and questioned them to ascertain their involvement in the Uri attack, which was one of the deadliest militant attacks on security forces in Kashmir.
“The investigation carried out by the NIA revealed that the two had crossed over to the Indian side after an altercation with their parents due to pressure of studies,” the official said.
According to him, evidence collected in the form of statements, technical analysis of their mobile phones, seized GPS devices and other circumstantial evidence collected by NIA did not reveal any link with the Uri attackers. He said further investigation is continuing in the case.
The NIA had claimed on September 27 last year that the arrested duo during their interrogation had disclosed that they were tasked by JeM commanders to facilitate infiltration of a group of four JeM cadres, who carried out the Uri attack.
“On being shown the photographs of the 4 slain militants, the accused Faisal Hussain Awan identified one of them as Hafeez Ahmed, resident of Village Dharbang, Muzaffarabad, of PaK,” the agency had claimed.