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NIA files case against LeM, its chief who recced NSA Doval’s office

The NSA has remained a prime target for the terrorists since the 2016 Uri surgical strike and the Balakot air strike of 2019

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday registered a case relating to a conspiracy by terror outfit Lashkar-e-Mustafa (LeM) and its chief Hidayat-ullah Malik, who had recced the office of National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval in May last year, working at the behest of Pakistan-based proscribed terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) to carry out terrorist activities in the Jammu region.

An NIA official said here that the agency registered a case on Tuesday as the LeM was trying to carry out terrorist activities in the Jammu area with the aim of threatening the sovereignty, integrity and security of India.

The NIA took over the case which the Jammu and Kashmir Police had registered at the Gangyal police station in Jammu district on February 6 this year under several sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

According to NIA officials, the arrested accused Malik is the chief of Lashker-e-Mustafa. "During searches, one hand grenade, three magazines and 28 rounds with other incriminating materials were recovered from his possession," the official said.

The official further said that Malik had done reconnaissance of many security installations in Jammu and Delhi in 2018 and 2019 for carrying out terror attacks.

According to the officers of J&K Police related to the probe, during interrogation, Malik confessed that he had done recce of Doval's office and several other locations and sent reports to the commanders of JeM in Pakistan.

The official said that Malik was arrested from Anantnag and during his interrogation, he has revealed that he had taken a flight to Delhi last year in May and recorded a video of Doval's office and then passed it on to his Pakistani commander named Doctor through WhatsApp.

Malik also confessed to have conducted a recce of the border area in J&K's Samba sector in mid 2019, along with Sameer Ahmad Dar, who was arrested by the NIA in January last year for his involvement in the 2019 Pulwama terror attack.

According to NIA officials, Malik has been associated with other terror groups in past to further subversive and terror activities in the Kashmir Valley.

"The terror group had also committed a daylight bank robbery in which Rs 60 lakh were looted from J&K Bank's main branch in Shopian in November 2020," the NIA official said.

The NSA has remained a prime target for the terrorists since the 2016 Uri surgical strike and the Balakot air strike of 2019.

Doval also questioned JeM chief Masood Azhar after his arrest in 1994, and was one of the persons to escort Azhar to Kandhar in the wake of the IC-814 hijack in 1999.