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NIA chargesheets 3 in LeT terrorists' recruitment case

<p id="content">The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a charge sheet against three people in connection with its probe into the Lashkar-e-Taiba recruitment case in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam, an official said today.</p>
An NIA spokesperson here said that the agency filed the charge sheet against Muneeb Hameed Bhat, Junaid Ahmad Mattoo and Umer Rashid Wani, all residents of Kulgam, in the Special NIA court in Jammu on Thursday under several sections of the Unlawful Prevention Activities Act and the Indian Penal Code.

The case was initially registered by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in September 2017 after it was found that the banned terror organization LeT was motivating youths such as Bhat and others to join the organization and arrange for their travel to Pakistan for training on the basis of the valid travel documents on the recommendations of the separatist leaders.

The NIA registered a case in September 2018.

The official said that "investigation by the anti-terror probe agency established that LeT terrorist Mattoo motivated accused Bhat to join LeT and go to Pakistan for terrorist training".

"Another LeT terrorist Wani gave him funds to meet the expenses of his Pakistan visit. In July-August 2017, accused 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, Bhat remained constantly in touch with LeT handlers in Pakistan and active militants of Kulgam area on secret messaging platforms for carrying out subversive and terrorist activities in Kashmir Valley. He was working as a sleeper cell of LeT and further intended to join the militant ranks in banned terrorist organisation LeT," he added.

The official said that investigation also established that during 2016-2018, many Kashmiri youth were sent by separatist leaders to Pakistan on valid travel documents for getting terrorist training with active assistance of the commanders of militant groups.

"These youth got terrorist training in the terrorist camps in Pakistan for period ranging from five to fifteen days. After returning, they are initially used as sleeper cells by militant organisations and subsequently recruited for active militancy," the official claimed.

Mattoo and Wani were killed in separate encounters in the valley in 2017 and 2018, respectively..