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NIA Releases Two Pakistani Schoolboys who were Arrested in Connection With Uri Attack

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday released two Pakistani schoolboys, who were arrested in connection with Uri terror attack after no incriminating evidence was found against them.

Mufti Islah | CNN-News18

Updated:March 8, 2017, 10:07 PM IST
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NIA Releases Two Pakistani Schoolboys who were Arrested in Connection With Uri Attack
An Indian Army soldier guards the line of control. (Photo Credit: Getty Images) (Representative image)

New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday released two Pakistani schoolboys, who were arrested in connection with Uri terror attack after no incriminating evidence was found against them.

NIA handed over the two schoolboys, Ahsan Khursheed and Faisal Hussain Awan, to Jammu-based Army corps who would, in turn, facilitate their return to Pakistan.

“Investigation carried out by the NIA revealed that the two suspects had crossed over to the Indian side after altercation with their parents due to pressure of studies,'' said an NIA spokesman.

The NIA said evidence collected in the form of statements, technical analysis of their mobile phones, seized GPS devices and other circumstantial evidence collected did not reveal any link of the suspects with the attackers at Uri. “Further investigation is continuing in the case,” he said.

On the night of September 22 and 23, two "intruders" from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Ahsan Khursheed and Faisal Hussain Awan, were arrested in the Uri sector when they crossed into the Indian side.

Later, the duo was dubbed as guides of Jaish-e-Mohommad who helped the four fidayeens cross into the Indian side and attack the 12 brigade headquarters at Uri that left 19 soldiers dead and 20 others injured. Even New Delhi had used their arrest to expose Pakistan’s terror factory on the diplomatic level.

The chances of their deportation had brightened after Pakistan released 22-year-old soldier of 37 Rashtriya Riffles (RR) Chandu Babulal Chauhan, who had inadvertently strayed into Pakistan occupied Kashmir, after Indian army carried out surgical strikes on the terror launch pads on the other side of Line of Control in September last year to avenge the fidayeen attack on Uri brigade headquarters.

Ahasan and Awan were detained by Indian Army on September 21, 3 days after Uri attack and handed over to NIA.

A source in the NIA had earlier confirmed to CNN-News18 that boys had strayed into the Indian side on the Line of control (LoC), and will be handed over to Pakistan once the court formalities were over.

Tensions have been simmering between India and Pakistan along the LoC ever since the four heavily-armed fidayeen attacked an Indian post on September 18, 2016, leaving 19 soldiers dead and 20 injured.

Soon after the attack, the army claimed that the attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and that Ahasan and Faisal had confessed to being the members of the group. The army also said the teenagers had confessed that were guides for the 4 terrorists, who had carried out the attack.

The NIA investigation has now established that the attack was carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba and not JeM. On condition of anonymity, NIA officers, who are part of the investigation, had earlier told CNN-News18 that these boys were schoolgoers from the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) -- who could have crossed over inadvertently, and then confessed under duress.

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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