NIA To Conduct Polygraph Test On Alleged LeT Operative

8 September 2015
Azaan Javaid

New Delhi: A special court on Monday allowed a plea by National Investigation Agency seeking permission to conduct polygraph test on Showkat Ahmed Bhat, a south Kashmir resident, accused of transporting Lashkar-e-Taiba militants, who on August 5 ambushed a BSF convoy in Udhampur district in Jammu and Kashmir. The NIA in their application stated that Bhat's statements have been found inconsistent and that a polygraph test is essential 'to expose the larger conspiracy behind the instant terrorist attack. Bhat (36) was produced before district judge Amar Nath during an in-camera proceeding after the NIA arrested him on September 1. 'During the custodial examination of the accused, certain facts regarding larger conspiracy behind the instant terror act which includes but is not limited to the entire network of conspirators, supporters, financers, facilitators and handlers of arrested accused Mohammad Naveed and other co-accused persons came to light which needs to be further verified- strengthened by conducting the polygraph test of accused person,' the NIA said. The probe agency contended that the inconsistent statements during Bhat's interrogation have been 'hampering the leads in the investigation' into the Udhampur terror attack. The agency told the court that investigation so far has revealed that Bhat was part and parcel of the larger conspiracy hatched by LeT to wage war against the government of India. 'The accused possesses the knowledge of intricate details of the conspiracy being furthered by the senior functionaries of the LeT, who are operating from Pakistan and in various parts of State of Jammu and Kashmir,' said the NIA. It also said that Bhat had facilitated Mohamad Naveed, his accomplice Noman and two other LeT militants, identified as Abu Okasa and Zargham, 'by transporting them from near the Indo-Pak border till the place of their hideout in district Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir).' While Noman was killed during the fierce encounter, Naved was captured by a group of villagers whom he had attempted to take as hostages. He was later handed over to the police. While allowing NIA's plea, the court said that Bhat's polygraph test will be conducted at Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) at Lodhi Road here on Tuesday. Bhat, a resident of south Kashmir's Pulwama, is the second driver to be arrested by the NIA. The agency last month arrested another truck driver identified as Khursheed Ahmed who initially was accused of ferrying the militants to Udhampur on two occasions one on July 20 and on August 5, the day of the attack.On August 23 dna had reported that in fact Khursheed was not the driver who had transported the LeT men on August 5. Sources had told dna that the agency was searching for Showkat,and had added that in fact Khursheed was driver who had brought the three men back to the Valley when a third militant, an Afghan National, showed reluctance to be a part of the 'mission' which at that time was to take place on August 4.