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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

Jharkhand Gradually Breaking The PLFI Grip

The PLFI is a splinter group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).

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On May 28, 2020, three People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) cadres, including a woman, were killed during an encounter with Security Forces (SFs) in the hilly terrain of Manmaru forest within the Tebo Police Station limits in West Singhbhum District. The slain cadres were identified as Patras (40), Dadu Nag aka Champa da (30) and his 26-year-old wife (name not available).

Rajiv Ranjan Singh, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Kolhan range, disclosed, “An unidentified cadre who sustained injuries in the gunfight has been admitted to the government hospital in Chakradharpur while a fifth rebel, identified as Manoj, has been arrested.”

SFs also recovered one AK-47 rifle, live cartridges, explosives and Naxal [Left Wing Extremism, LWE] literature from the encounter site.


The PLFI is a splinter group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).

On May 17, 2020, a PLFI cadre was killed in an exchange of fire with SFs in a forested area near Benduchuan village in the Jaldega Police Station limits in Simdega District. The identity of the slain cadre is yet to be ascertained.

Sanjeev Kumar, Superintendent of Police (SP), stated, “One PLFI cadre has been gunned down by the STF while another member of the group, who claims himself as ‘area commander’ of Bano area in Simdega, Praveen Kandulna, has received serious bullet injuries and has been rushed to the hospital.” Police added that five other cadres were also arrested. Their identities are being ascertained. A huge cache of arms and ammunition was also recovered.

On May 6, 2020, a tribal woman, Vinita Oraon, killed a PLFI ‘area commander’, identified as Basant Gope, in a bid to protect her family from a group of rebels at Brinda village in Gumla District. According to the Police, as many as six armed PLFI leaders barged into Oraon’s house and reportedly started manhandling members of her family. Vinita attacked them with a sickle in an act of self-defence. The rebels fled after one of them – the deceased ‘area commander’– sustained injuries. SP Hrudeep P. Janardhanan later disclosed, “The insurgent, who was stabbed, sustained severe injuries. We found his body at a nearby forest during search operations.”


SFs in the state have eliminated another four PLFI cadres in the current year (data till May 31, 2020). During the corresponding period of 2019, SFs had eliminated at least 10 PLFI cadres. No other PLFI cadre was killed by the SFs during the remaining period of 2019.

Significantly, at least 55 PLFI cadres have been eliminated in the State by SFs since 2007, when PLFI was formed. During this period, another 16 PLFI cadres were killed by the Maoists in six fratricidal clashes.

Further, 18 PLFI cadres were killed by civilians in nine incidents. Thus, the PLFI has a lost a total of 89 cadres during this period. At least 533 PLFI cadres have been arrested since 2007, including 10 in the current year. 30 PLFI cadres have surrendered since the formation of the group.

The PLFI was formed in 2007 Reports indicate that Dinesh Gope, founder and current ‘chief’ of the outfit, a renegade Border Security Force (BSF) trooper, was the younger brother of Suresh Gope, a petty criminal who operated in areas around Ranchi. Suresh had a rivalry with another gangster, Jayanath Sahu aka Samrat, principally over collecting ‘levies’ (extortion revenues) and expanding turf. Suresh was killed in an encounter with the Jharkhand Police on December 22, 2003, when he had gone to collect ‘levy’. Dinesh took charge of the gang and worked to extend its area of operation. The gang was initially named the Jharkhand Liberation Tigers (JLT) in September 2004. Later, in July 2007, Masih Charan Purti aka Masih Charan Munda, a renegade senior CPI-Maoist ‘commander’, defected with several of his ‘followers’ and joined Dinesh Gope. While Masih was being hunted by the Maoists, Dinesh was looking for ways to out-gun Jayanath due to the continued rivalry. It was a win-win proposition and Masih Charan and Dinesh joined hands to create PLFI. Masih Charan created the rudimentary structure of the outfit, even as PLFI declared itself a sworn enemy of CPI-Maoist. Though Masih Charan was arrested a year later, in 2008, PLFI continued to grow under Dinesh’s leadership. Other Maoist cadres who walked out of the parent outfit also joined the group.

The armed strength of the group, according to estimates, has fluctuated between 150 to 300 cadres depending on SF pressure. According to an August 19, 2013, report, Jharkhand State Police under its ‘PLFI Action Plan’, had conducted a survey on the cadre strength of the outfit, and found that there were 264 PLFI cadres across Jharkhand – 82 in Ranchi, 55 in Khunti, 44 in Simdega, 44 in Chatra, 17 in Gumla, 14 in Palamu, five in Lohardaga and three in Latehar Districts. No subsequent official figures are available regarding current strength. Compounding the problem is the fact that virtually all petty criminals operating in the area project themselves as PLFI cadres. The outfit functions through several ‘area commanders’ across an area of operation principally extending across Ranchi, Khunti, Simdega, Gumla, Latehar, Chatra and Palamu.


In the meanwhile, Masih Charan fought the 2009 Assembly Elections from jail and thereon followed his political path, consolidating links with the mafia and politicians. Though he ended a runner up in the elections, his influence has slowly increased, as money power attracted cadres as well as political patronage. The backing of the mafia purchased a measure of Police complicity, making PLFI the most prominent extremist group in Khunti and the adjoining region. Unemployed youth were lured into the group with the promise of easy money. As SAIR noted earlier, “the State Government has also been instrumental in sustaining PLFI during its initial days, using it to counter the CPI-Maoist. However, the strategy backfired and PLFI became one of the major LWE groups in the State.”

PLFI gradually became the second-largest LWE group in Jharkhand, after CPI-Maoist. 19 Maoist splinter groups have been active in the State, each of which had broken away from the CPI-Maoist and formed independent gangs with purportedly different ideologies and purposes. Some of the other prominent splinter groups include Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC), Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad (JJMP), Jharkhand Sangharsh Jan Mukti Morcha (JSJMM), Jharkhand Prastuti Committee (JPC), and Tritiya Prastuti Committee-1 (TPC-1), a breakaway group of TPC. PLFI is among the largest CPI-Maoist splinters in Jharkhand.

With time, PLFI’s extortion network and activities also extended into Odisha, particularly in the Sundargarh District bordering Jharkhand. On July 8, 2012, for instance, PLFI cadres shot dead Hardeep Singh, a block-level politician of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), in Sundargarh. Further, the Jashpur District in Chhattisgarh, bordering the Simdega District of Jharkhand, has also witnessed PLFI activities. The group has been banned in Chhattisgarh since May 26, 2012. Commenting on the PLFI’s style of functioning, former Jharkhand Police spokesperson S. N. Pradhan stated, on August 7, 2013, “PLFI is a purely money-minting gang with no ideology or fundamentals.”

However, the outfit’s ‘operational capacity’ in the State has suffered during the last few years due to SF operational successes on the ground. In eight years between 2007 and 2014, the outfit lost 42 cadres, i.e. 5.25 cadres per year. Over the succeeding five years and more since 2015, it has lost 47 cadres, more than half of the total fatalities suffered by it, i.e. 8.54 fatalities per year. While these numbers seem low, the losses have been devastating for what is essentially a small criminal gang.

On the other hand, between 2007 and 2014, the outfit killed 79 civilians, i.e. 9.87 civilians per year.  Since 2015, it has killed 27 civilians, i.e. 4.90 civilians per year.

The PLFI is currently involved in efforts to regain strength and relentlessly enrich its coffers through extortion. On February 15, 2020, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a press release stated that it had filed the first charge sheet filed in the case against the PLFI (RC-13/19/NIA/DLI) on February 14, 2020. The release noted:

An investigation has revealed that the above charge-sheeted accused operatives of PLFI used to extort levy from the contractors of governmental development projects and transporters. Further, they acquired foreign-made arms and ammunitions illegally which were used to intimidate the contractors and businessmen for committing extortion. Levies collected from them were not only used for terror activities of PLFI but also for acquiring immovable properties by their members.

The case pertains to an incident on December 3, 2018, in which PLFI cadres had gathered in the Titir Mahua Forest area of Balubhang in Latehar District and were conspiring to conduct unlawful activities. On the basis of credible information, a raid was conducted and four accused were arrested along with foreign-made arms and ammunition. The case was first registered by the local police on the same day, and by NIA on February 26, 2019.

Earlier, on October 22, 2019, an NIA press release stated that it had filed another charge sheet (RC- 02/2018/NIA/DLI) on October 21. The release noted that during investigation it was established that a criminal conspiracy was hatched relating to channelizing of the extorted levy amount collected from the contractors/businessmen engaged in the developmental projects in Jharkhand and investing these funds into dubious shell companies formed with the partnership of PLFI associates and family members of Dinesh Gope. INR 2.5 million in cash which was being deposited in State Bank of India (SBI), Branch Bero, Ranchi had been seized by the Police on November 10, 2016. A case was registered by the local Police on the same day, and by NIA on January 19, 2018.


As PLFI is primarily a criminal group, it deliberately avoids direct engagement with the SFs, but continues with its criminal activities and efforts to extend influence and areas of operation.

Indeed, PLFI’s areas of operation are among the country’s worst crime afflicted Districts. It is, consequently, imperative that the momentum of SF operations is maintained, till this group is entirely neutralized.

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed in this article are strictly the personal opinions of the author. League of India does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.

Published with permission from South Asia Intelligence Review of the South Asia Terrorism Portal.

Deepak Kumar Nayak

Deepak Kumar Nayak is a research assistant at Institute for Conflict Management and is involved in research and documentation of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) and insurgency in Northeast of India.

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Ahmedabad Church Pastor Booked Under POSCO For Sexual Abuse Of Minor

He made the minor girl’s nude videos and threatened her to convert her religion to Christianity.

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AHMEDABAD (Gujarat): In a sordid tale of criminal-religious nature, a pastor of Khlesia Church in the Rabari Colony area of Ahmedabad metropolitan area sexually abused a minor girl, made her nude videos, and threatened her to convert her religion to Christianity. Gulabchand, the accused priest sent video clips to victim girl’s relatives after which this crime came to light.

The 16-year old girl, a student of class 11th in a local school, has filed a complaint in city’s Ramol police station against a pastor of Ecclesia Church which is located in Rabari Colony area.

According to the police, a first information report (FIR) was filed on the night of August 31, under Indian Penal Code sections 354D for stalking, 354C for the dissemination of victim’s pictures to a third person without her consent and 506 for criminal intimidation along with sections of the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.


“The matter came to light when the parents of the minor approached the police station and registered a complaint. The pastor will be interrogated about all of these allegations. We can’t reveal too much about this case since it is a religious matter,” local police officials told upon repeated queries.

According to the complaint, the accused pastor, who was in possession of naked pictures of the victim girl had forced her to embrace Christian faith.

The girl stated in her complaint:

On December 25 last year, I visited a church… where the pastor asked me to call my parents to church next time. Later, the pastor kept on calling my parents and one day, they organised a religious ceremony at our house.


Later, on the pretext of speaking to my father, the pastor used to call on his number and talk to me.

He used to say that he loves me and demanded my private pictures. He also started doing video calls to my phone and made obscene demands. He threatened me that if I revealed it to my father then he will circulate my private pictures. Almost a fortnight ago, one of my relatives contacted my father and said that he received an obscene picture of mine. Later my father received another obscene picture of mine on his phone and asked me about it. It was then that I told him about the pastor.”

The Case:

The victim minor girl had visited the said church on December 25, 2019, with a lady in the neighbourhood. The church pastor Gulabchand acted friendly with her and asked her to bring her parents too to the church.

The girl, however, did not mention this to her parents. A few days later, Gulabchand’s relative called the victim girl’s father over the phone and invited him to the said church. The next month, the victim girl visited the said church with her parents.


The accused pastor took the opportunity to get close to the family and later visited the minor girl’s place with his relatives and aides to do Christian bhajans.

After this, pastor Gulabchand would often call up the minor girl. He even sent a photograph sending kiss and saying, “I love you“.

Quite disturbingly, Gulabchand would also stalk the minor girl and ask her to undress over video calls.

The Church Pastor would issue death and defamation threats to the minor girl if she revealed anything to her father — and coerce her to adopt Christianity.

It could well be the Christian version of ‘Love Jihad‘ wherein the entire sequence of events could well be a well-calibrated plan of manipulating the minor by both brainwashing her and threatening her via sexual abuse.

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Maoist-Affected Gadchiroli Will Be Transformed In Two Years: Nitin Gadkari

Extremism is coming down with infra projects coming up in these areas: MoS RTH Gen. V K Singh

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NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari today inaugurated through video link, three important bridges and two road improvement projects in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra.

The Minister also laid foundation stones for four other major bridge projects across the rivers Wainganga, Bandiya, Perikota and Perimili.

These projects are considered crucial for improving mobility for socio-economic development of the Gadchiroli district.


The projects inaugurated today were:

  • 855-metre major bridge across Pranahita river on Nizamabad – Jagdalpur Road (NH 63) at a cost of Rs 168 crores,
  • 630-metre high-level bridge across the Indravati River near Patagudam on Nizamabad – Jagdalpur Road (NH 63) at a cost of Rs 248 crores.
  • 30-metre high-level bridge near Lankachen on Bejurpalli – Aheri Road,
  • Improvement of Bejurpalli-Aheri Road (SH 275) between Watra and Moyabinpeta
  • Improvement of Garanji – Pustola Road

Speaking on the occasion, Nitin Gadkari said with the construction of these key bridges, the National Highway connectivity in Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh –Telangana is complete now.

“This is a dream which has come true after nearly 25 years, when it was conceived when I was a Minister in Maharashtra”.

Gadkari said the total length of National Highway in Gadchiroli district has increased from 54 km to 647 km during his tenure.


Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has approved 44 road projects of 541 km length with an outlay of Rs 1,740 crores for Gadchiroli district.

“The all-weather road network in far-flung areas of Naxal affected districts like Gadchiroli will improve the socio-economic development in the region and in upcoming two years or so the Gadchiroli district will see an all-round transformation,” the  Minister remarked.

Gadkari wholeheartedly complimented the engineers and contractors who completed the construction of bridges in Gadchiroli, despite the fear of Naxals. He informed that the bridge across River Indravati was completed under very trying and warlike conditions. A police station had to be set up in order to help construct the bridge.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari also laid the foundation stones for 4 Major Bridges on Perimilli, Bandiya, Pearikota and Waingagana River in the district.  The existing bridges across these rivers are narrow and often get submerged during monsoons.

The bridge across the Wainganga River of approximately 825 meters will improve the connectivity between Gadchiroli and Chandrapur District. The Minister also asked NHAI officials to utilize the saved amount of Rs.50 cr during the works of Major bridges to construct 14 Minor Bridges and ensure seamless transportation in otherwise inaccessible areas of Gadchiroli districts.


Gadkari also promised to approve the 35 km road development between Alapalli – Bamragarh this year and the remaining 65 km in the next financial year.

The Minister also sought the state Government’s nod to connecting Desaiganj – Brahmapuri with Nagpur under the Broad Gauge Metro connectivity plan, which would reduce the travel time to 75 minutes from the current 2 and a half hours.

Speaking about his vision for the development of backward areas in the capacity of an MSME Minister, Gadkari said with bamboo available in plenty, Gadchiroli can become the hub of Agarbatti manufacturing, whose import has now been stopped.

He said there is a scope to set up 100 units, which would give employment to local people. The Minister also said that he is initiating a project for the conversion of rice to ethanol in Gadchiroli as part of the biofuel development programme. “This will provide greater value for rice growers and also create jobs” he added.

Gadkari requested the State Public Works Minister Eknath Shinde to explore various avenues for job creation in Gadchiroli with a target of providing employment to 10,000 youth.

MoS RTH Gen V K Singh complimented the completion of developmental Road projects in the area, and said, this will go a long way in mainstreaming of people living in LWE areas. He said that an area progressed only when infrastructure is developed there. He said that with more and more infra projects coming up in these areas, the extremism is coming down gradually.

Maharashtra PWD Minister Ashok Chavan said road development in Gadchiroli would help industrial development, job creation and uplift of living standards of people, besides helping in the maintenance of law and order.

MP Gadchiroli-Chimur Lok Sabha constituency Ashok Nete, other public representatives and officials of Central and State Government were present.

Wainganga Bridge Project:


Wainganga river, which divides Gadchiroli & Chandrapur Districts is one of the important rivers in the State of Maharashtra. Due to the current condition of the bridge situated on Wainganga, commuters are facing many difficulties. People living in the tribal-dominated areas of Ballarpur, Kothari, Gondpimpri & Ashti are facing challenges regarding employment opportunities, Import & Export of agricultural products, market access, medical amenities and transportation. To eliminate hardships of the people, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari proposed construction of an ambitious project to construct a bridge on Wainganga river, along National Highway 353 B, at a total cost of Rs. 99 Crore, to be completed by NHAI and PWD.

The proposed bridge will bring prosperity to small villages in the districts of Gadchiroli & Chandrapur.

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Pakistani Jaish-E-Mohammad Wanted To Spark India-Pakistan War: NIA Charge Sheet

“Pulwama repeat too was planned but was dropped as Pakistan panicked after India’s Balakot strike.”

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NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today filed a charge sheet in February 2019 Pulwama terror attack case in which it named 19 people for carrying out the attack at Pakistan’s behest. The 13,500 pages charge sheet was filed before a special NIA court in Jammu.

Jaish Chief, Maulana Masood Azhar, his brothers Abdul Rauf Asghar and Ammar Alvi, and nephew Umar Farooq are among those named in the charge sheet by the agency. The charge sheet has been filed u/s 120-B, 121, 121-A, 122, 123, 307, 302 of the RPC, sections 7, 25, 27 of Arms Act, sections 3, 4, 5 & 6 of the Explosive Substances Act, sections 16, 17, 18, 18A, 18B, 19, 20, 21, 38 & 39 of the UA (P) Act, section 14C of Foreigners Act and section 4 of Jammu and Kashmir Public Property (Prevention of Damages) Act, 1985 against the following accused persons:

1. Masood Azhar Alvi, 52, Pakistani national
2. Rouf Asgar Alvi, 47, Pakistani national
3. Ammar Alvi, 46, Pakistani national
4. Shakir Bashir, 24, resident of Kakapora, Pulwama
5. Insha Jan, 22, resident of Kakapora, Pulwama
6. Peer Tariq Ahmed Shah, 53, resident of Kakapora, Pulwama
7. Waiz-ul-Islam, 20, resident of Srinagar
8. Mohd Abbas Rather, 31, resident of Kakapura, Pulwama
9. Bilal Ahmed Kuchhey, 28, resident of Hajibal, Lalhar, Pulwama
10. Mohd Iqbal Rather, 25, resident of Charar-e-Shareef, Budgam
11. Mohd Ismail, 25, Pakistani national
12. Sameer Ahmad Dar, 22, resident of Kakapora, Pulwama
13. Ashaq Ahmed Nengroo, 33, resident of Rajpura, Pulwama
14. Adil Ahmed Dar, 21, resident of Kakapora, Pulwama
15. Muhammad Umar Farooq, 24, Pakistani national
16. Mohd Kamran Ali, 25, Pakistani national
17. Sajjad Ahmed Bhat, 19, resident of Bijbehera, Anantnag
18. Mudasir Ahmad Khan, 24, resident of Awantipura
19. Qari Yasir, Pakistani national


Pulwama IED Blast Terror Attack in India

The charge sheet also names people who were arrested from Pulwama for providing shelter and shooting the last video of Adil Dar, the suicide bomber who used around 200 kgs of explosives in the vehicle that rammed into the CRPF convoy near Lethpora in South Kashmir.

The “blind case” was solved by the NIA after piecing together the electronic evidence and statements of terrorists arrested in different cases. As many as seven people have been arrested so far by the NIA in this case.

The Charge Sheet:

The investigation has revealed that the Pulwama attack was a result of a well-planned criminal conspiracy hatched by Pakistan-based leadership of terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad. The JeM leaders have been sending their cadres to the terrorist training camps of Al-Qaida-Taliban-JeM and Haqqani-JeM in Afghanistan for receiving training in explosives and other terrorist tactics.


The main accused viz. Mohammad Umar Farooq also visited Afghanistan for explosives training in 2016-17. He infiltrated into India through International Border at Jammu-Samba Sector in April 2018 and took over as Jaish-e-Mohammad Commander of Pulwama. Mohammad Umar along with his Pakistani compatriots viz. Mohd. Kamran, Mohd. Ismail @ Saifullah and Qari Yasir and local associates viz. Sameer Dar and Adil Ahmad Dar planned and prepared for the attack on security forces using IEDs.

Accused Shakir Bashir, Insha Jan, Peer Tariq Ahmad Shah and Bilal Ahmad Kuchey provided all logistics and harboured the JeM terrorists in their houses. From December 2018 onwards, Shakir Bashir started doing reconnaissance of the movement and deployment of security forces on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. Mudasir Ahmad Khan arranged Gelatin sticks and handed them over to Shakir Bashir. RDX was brought by the Pakistani terrorists who infiltrated into India. Shakir Bashir collected the explosive material i.e. RDX, Gelatin sticks, Aluminium power and Calcium-Ammonium Nitrate and stocked them at his house for making the IED.

In Jan. 2019, Sajjad Ahmad Bhat purchased a Maruti EECO car for the purpose of carrying out the IED attack. The car was kept in the front-yard of Shakir Bashir’s house. Waiz-Ul-Islam ordered 04 kgs of Aluminium powder from his Amazon account on the directions of accused Mohd. Ismail @ Saifullah and gave the same to him.

Towards the end of Jan 2019, Mohammad Umar Farooq, Sameer Dar and Adil Dar made the propaganda video clip of the suicide attack at Insha Jan’s house which was released immediately after the attack.

In the first week of Feb. 2019, Mohd. Umar Farooq, Sameer Ahmad Dar, Adil Ahmad Dar and Shakir Bashir made the IED using RDX, Calcium-Ammonium Nitrate, Gelatin Sticks and Aluminium Powder and assembled it in two containers, one weighing around 160 Kgs and the second one weighing around 40 Kgs. The two IED containers were fitted in Maruti EECO car and were ready by the morning of 6th Feb. 2019. However, because of heavy snowfall, the National Highway got closed for the vehicular movement.


On 14th Feb. 2019, as the National Highway opened, Shakir Bashir drove Adil Ahmad Dar till National Highway, after which Adil Ahmad Dar took charge of the vehicle and drove on to the National Highway and carried out the suicide attack by ramming the Maruti EECO car laden with 200 Kgs of high-grade explosives into a bus of the CRPF convoy, resulting in 40 CRPF personnel getting martyred and damage to the tune of Rs.32,90,719/- to the public property.

The investigation has revealed that the Pakistan-based JeM leadership consisting of Masood Azhar, Rouf Asgar and Ammar Alvi @ Chacha @ Chota Masood were continuously giving directions and guidance to the Pakistani JeM terrorists (who had infiltrated into India) both before and after the attack. They had also planned to carry out another suicide attack which got averted due to Balakot strikes and due to the killing of main conspirator Mohd. Umar Farooq by the security forces. Further, due to international pressure, Pakistan lied low.

The investigation also revealed a well-crafted mechanism by the Pakistani establishment to push terrorists into the Indian territory from the launch pads located in Shakargarh (Pakistan) opposite Samba-Kathua Sector in Jammu.

The NIA charge-sheet against 19 accused persons marks the culmination of year & a half long painstaking and meticulous investigation with valuable inputs received from other Central and State government agencies as well as foreign law-enforcement agencies. A lot of digital, forensic, documentary and oral evidence establishing a fool-proof case against the accused of this dastardly and barbaric attack has been collected. The charge-sheet has brought on record the all-out involvement of Pakistan-based entities to carry out terrorist strikes in India and to incite and provoke Kashmiri youth. NBW’s have been got issued against the absconding accused and further investigation in the case is continued.

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