Waiz Ul Islam, a 20-year-old Kashmiri youth, is accused of assisting Jaish terrorists for plotting and executing the 2019 Pulwama terror attack. A bright student, he has been preparing for NEET 2020 and has now appealed to take the test later this month.
Kashmiri youth accused in the Pulwama terror attack has sought permission from the NIA Special Court in Jammu to appear for the upcoming NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Exam) to be held on September 13. The application comes a week after the 20-year-old Waiz Ul Islam was named as one of the 19 accused by NIA in its chargesheet for the Pulwama terror attack which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF soldiers.
The bespectacled lanky youth appeared via video conference before the court to make his appeal. However, sources told India Today TV that NIA is all set to oppose the application when the case comes up for hearing on September 3, as Waiz was a terror associate to Jaish module, playing a key role in ordering explosives from e-commerce sites for the 2019 terror ttack.
An official said, “The accused has chosen Srinagar as his exam centre, where he has to appear with other students for the competitive exam. There could be an unexpected law and order situation or the boy could try to escape. It is a risk that cannot be taken.”
A bright student and a resident of Bagh-e-Mehtab, Waiz ul Islam, was a regular “boy next door” till he was brainwashed by Jaish-e-Mohammed to be their associate in 2019. He was arrested in March by the NIA. While Waiz had no terror links or even faint connection with radical elements, offline or online, the evidence against him were too strong.
NIA officials were sympathetic towards the educated youth and his family, but the evidence was too vast to ignore. The youth’s father is a government servant while Waiz has two other brothers who are also very bright.ADVERTISEMENT
It was a chance meeting with a friend at a condolence meet of a known acquaintance, where Waiz was asked to come to Nowgam, for a meeting with two new faces, one of them was Pakistani Jaish commander Mohammed Ismail alias Saifullah.
With Waiz’s parents gone for Hajj, the Jaish module quickly managed to brainwash the student to let them stay in their accommodation. Waiz led the way for the group driving a scooter while the Jaish terrorists followed in a car. Anxious of letting them in his house, he arranged for their stay in a neighbours’ house, who had also gone for Hajj with Waiz’s parents.
Sources said the boy would purchase goods and deliver it to the Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ismail alias Adnan himself at the Budgam-Pulwama border, considering he was the central commander of Jaish. Adnan himself is related to Maulana Masood Azhar.
With no past antecedents, the youth’s arrest is a shot in the arm for NIA which has been looking for evidence in the case. He told interrogators that he was instructed on what to order online and subsequently deliver the “goods” to the module. He did not know the extent of the Pulwama conspiracy. An officer said “it was need to know basis”.
This is where Waiz-ul-Islam ordered 4 kilograms of Aluminium powder from his Amazon account on the directions of accused Mohammed Ismail alias Saifullah. Not only did Amazon give a confirmation of the order, pictures shared by another accused Shakir Magrey with mastermind Mohammed Umar Farooq, Pakistani commander and Maulana Masood Azhar’s nephew, had the same Amazon tag. Not just this, Waiz ordered batteries, gloves, mask and even Samsung mobile phone covers. He also ordered shoes for Ismail, who at 6’6’’ height had shoe size 13 and hence could not find shoes easily in the market.
Waiz was found to be in contact with Ismail and a local, Sameer Dar, and he was referred to in chats as Waiz Bola. Though Mohammed Umar Farooq never met him, he referred to Waiz Bola as an asset. Waiz was in one chat instructed to buy a drone. But the cost was Rs 1 lakh. As Waiz showed reluctance, the idea was dropped by Jaish, as they thought that this could expose them during online monitoring.
Waiz initially used his father’s credit card for purchases, but later convinced a neighbour, who is a minor, to give his debit card in lieu of cash. All the voice notes exchanged between the terror module operatives were retrieved forensically and are now part of the chargesheet. Further, he was asked to make more purchases for another attack in Pulwama. Transactions from the Amazon account showed Waiz made purchases twice of products which could be used as explosives. Both times, the purchases were made in January-end and March-end.
The youth now cools his heels in Ambphalla Jail in Jammu, preparing for the upcoming examinations. Seeing his background, he has been made in-charge of the library inside the jail premises by the authorities so that he spends more time reading books. With Waiz’s involvement in the dastardly attack, a long trial awaits him.