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NIA files charge-sheet against three accused in Kulgam LeT recruitment case

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday filed a charge-sheet, in the special NIA court in Jammu, against three accused persons in the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) recruitment case of Kulgam in Jammu and Kashmir. 

The charge sheet was filed against three accused persons–Muneeb Hameed Bhat (Nanibugh village), Junaid Ahmad Mattoo (Khudwani village), and Umer Rashid Wani (Khudwani village), all from Kulgam district, under section 120(B) of Ranbir Penal Code, Sections 13 (2), 18, 39 and 40 of UAP Act, 1967. 

It pertains to subversive activities of LeT in Kulgam district whereby it was motivating youth such as Bhat and others to join the terrorist organization. It also organized their travel to Pakistan for terrorist training on the basis of valid travel documents on the recommendation of separatist leaders. Later, the NIA took over the case on September 25.

The investigation by NIA established that Mattoo motivated Bhat to join LeT and go to Pakistan for terrorist training and Wani gave him funds to meet the expenses of his Pakistan visit. In July-August 2017, Bhat visited Pakistan on valid travel documents for terrorist training with the assistance of separatist leaders. He was imparted weapons training and also training for using secret social media chat platforms.

After returning from Pakistan, he remained constantly in touch with LeT handlers in Pakistan and active terrorists of Kulgam on secret messaging platforms for carrying out subversive and terrorist activities in Kashmir. He was working as a sleeper cell of LeT and further intended to join the terrorist ranks of LeT.

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The investigation has also established that from 2016-2018, many Kashmiri youths were sent by separatist leaders to Pakistan on Valid Travel Documents for getting terrorist training with the active assistance of the commanders of terrorist groups. These youth got terrorist training in the terrorist camps of Pakistan for a period ranging from 5 to 15 days. After returning, they are initially used as sleeper cells by terrorist organizations and subsequently recruited for active terrorism. 

Mattoo and Wani were killed in separate encounters in 2017 and 2018. Further investigation in the case is on.

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