In a major breakthrough, the NIA on Monday said the owner of the vehicle used in the Pulwama terror attack has been identified and he has joined the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit. An official spokesman said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has made a significant breakthrough in the investigation by identifying the vehicle and its owner after piecing together remnants of the car recovered from the scene of the blast.
The NIA investigators, with the support of forensic and automobile experts, have been able to identify the vehicle used in the blast as a Maruti Eeco having chassis number MA3ERLF1SOO183735 and engine number G12BN164140. The vehicle was sold to Mohammed Jaleel Ahmed Haqani, a resident of Heaven Colony in Anantnag in 2011, and subsequently it changed hands seven times and finally reached Sajjad Bhat, a resident of Bijbeharain in South Kashmir.
The vehicle was purchased on February 4, the spokesman said, adding Sajjad was a student of Siraj-ul-Uloom, Shopian. Raids were conducted by a team of NIA and police at his house on Saturday but Sajjad was not present. He has reportedly joined Jaish-e-Mohammed and his photograph also appeared on social media where he is seen holding weapons.
Forty CRPF personnel were killed when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a bus carrying jawans in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14.
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PM Modi inaugurates National War Memorial
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the country's National War Memorial (NWM) adjoining the iconic India Gate complex in the heart of the capital, nearly 60 years after it was mooted to honour the fallen soldiers after Independence. Spread over an area of approximately 40 acres, the memorial comprises four concentric circles, namely-- the 'Amar Chakra, the Veerta Chakra, the 'Tyag Chakra' and the 'Rakshak Chakra' with names of 25,942 soldiers inscribed in golden letters on granite tablets. It also includes a central obelisk, an eternal flame and six bronze murals depicting famous battles fought by Indian Army, Air Force and Navy in a covered gallery (Veerta Chakra).
The prime minister also launched an all out attack on the Congress accusing it of adopting a "family first" approach and said national security suffered due to "criminal negligence" of the previous dispensation. In his hard-hitting speech at a gathering of ex-servicemen, the Prime Minister referred to the Bofors scam, AgustaWestland chopper scam, Rafale issue and inordinate delays in procurement of critical military platforms and ammunition by previous government.