New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday denied reports that a special court had granted bail to an accused in the Pulwama terror attack case in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
In a statement, the agency said the bail was granted to Yousuf Chopan, who had been arrested by the NIA in a terror conspiracy case, and not the February 2019 attack case.
The NIA spokesperon said Chopan was arrested in the case pertaining to a criminal conspiracy hatched by senior commanders of the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group to carry out terror attacks in different parts of India, including Delhi-NCR.
Raising the bail to the accused, the Congress said it was an "insult" to the security personnel killed in the Pulwama terror attack and demanded Home Minister Amit Shah's resignation over it.
The NIA official said the agency had not filed charge sheet against Chopan in the JeM conspiracy case as enough evidence could not be gathered against him, resulting in his bail by a special court in Delhi.
"It is to clarify that Yousuf Chopan was never arrested in Pulwama attack case. However, he along with six others was arrested in the NIA case 08/2019/NIA/DLI (JeM Conspiracy case) in which two charge sheets were filed against eight accused (including two killed)," the agency statement said.
The agency said it had filed the charge sheets in the case against Sajad Ahmad Khan, Tanveer Ahmed Ganie, Bilal Ahmad Mir, Muzaffar Ahmad Bhat, Ishfaq Ahmad Bhat and Mehraj-ud-din Chopan, besides Mudassir Ahmad Khan and Kari Mufti Yaseer who were killed in an encounter with security forces.
Mudassir Ahmad Khan, the mastermind behind the JeM conspiracy case who was also the main conspirators in the Pulwama attack case, was killed in an encounter.
"During the investigation in the JeM conspiracy case, seven over ground workers (OGWs) were arrested. However, out of which six accused were charge-sheeted in two charge sheets and Yousuf Chopan was not charge sheeted due to inadequate evidence," the NIA said.
As such Chopan has been granted default bail by special NIA court on February 18, 2020 and he has been sent back to Kot Bhalwal Jail, Jammu under Public Safety Act by the order of District Magistrate, Pulwama.
"Needless to say, NIA follows the policy of fairest possible investigation. In the Pulwama Attack Case 02/2019/NIA/JMU, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed in the suicide attack, significant leads have emerged and a breakthrough in the case is expected shortly," it said.
Meanwhile, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the Pulwama terror attack accused got bail as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) neither collected evidence nor filed a charge sheet.
"After taking political advantage of the Pulwama attack, forming government, now the Modi government does not care about the sacrifice of the country and the martyrs," he claimed.
"Is this not 'treason'," he asked.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel also attacked the government, saying he was "shocked to know that the Pulwama accused got bail because NIA so busy that it failed to file a charge sheet."
"It's an insult to our martyrs. Clearly government used this tragic attack for political purposes and was never serious about delivering justice," Patel said in a tweet.
At a press conference, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera claimed that the nationalism of the BJP stands exposed because the NIA has failed to charge sheet against terrorist Yousuf Chopan.
"Who will take responsibility for this. This was an attack on the country's honour. Accountability is a must," Khera said.
"The BJP wasted no time to garner votes and shamelessly used the martyrdom of our soldiers," he claimed.
"We demand the resignation of the Home Minister," Khera said.