Samir Dar, the driver of the truck that was intercepted near Jammu on Friday, is the Pulwama suicide bomber’s cousin, a senior Jammu and Kashmir police officer said. Samir Dar was among the three persons caught after the truck was intercepted at Ban toll plaza and searched.
Three men, suspected to be Jaish-e-Mohammed operatives, were killed in the gunfight that followed when a constable started searching the vehicle. Police said truck driver Samir Dar was trying to ferry armed terrorists to Srinagar from Dayalachak in Hiranagar area of Kathua district.
Police officers who questioned him found that he was a cousin of the suicide bomber Aadil Dar.
Aadil Dar drove his explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF convoy in Kashmir’s Pulwama along the highway on February 14 last year. Forty troopers were killed in the bombing that was followed by the air force’s Balakote air strikes.
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The Pulwama bombing is the deadliest in three decades of Pak-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir. Mukesh Singh, inspector general of police, told HT: “We arrested truck driver Samir Dar of Pulwama, who is cousin of Aadil Dar, suicide bomber responsible for the February 14 suicide attack on a CRPF convoy”.
Singh also said that two truck cleaners Omar and Asif who have been held also belong to Pulwama. The IGP also added that some people were also picked up from the Rehmbal area of Udhampur for their possible involvement in Friday’s incident.
The senior police officer said the truck that Samir Dar was using to smuggle the three Jaish terrorists, is owned by Mohammad Maqbool, also a resident of Pulwama. He said the terrorists eliminated in Friday’s encounter were from Pakistan and linked to the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad.
Officials of the National Investigation Agency have also reached out to question Samir Dar to see if he can help them connect the missing links in its probe into the Pulwama terror attack.