Bahadur Ali, a 21-year-old terrorist arrested in Jammu and Kashmir last month, was trained by the Lashkar e Taiba and Pakistani forces to instigate trouble in violence-hit Kashmir, Indian investigators said today, showing an eight-minute video of his confession.
Ali and a group of terrorists infiltrated into India in June, the National Investigation Agency or NIA said. "I was asked to throw grenades during a protest but I couldn't," Ali, a thin, bearded man, is heard saying in a monotone in the dark-lit video. He also says that his handlers in Pakistan told him that "Lashkar cadre have been successful in creating unrest after Buran Wani was killed".
Ali has reportedly revealed that he went through three Lashkar training sessions and was assigned to "mingle with locals and create trouble" during one of the many protests in the Kashmir Valley after Wani, a 22-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist, was killed on July 8. Over 50 people have died in clashes with security forces.
When Ali was arrested on July 25, an AK-47 rifle, grenades, sophisticated night vision equipment, water proof maps and a coded grid were found on him. "Bahadur Ali was told to take advantage of the current situation in Kashmir," said NIA's second-in-command Sanjeev Kumar, stressing that Ali's revelations clearly point at Pakistan's involvement in the Kashmir unrest.
Ali was in touch with LeT's "operations room" till his arrest and had received instructions to carry out an attack. His handlers, the NIA said, were based out of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and the control room was code-named "Alpha-3". Japanese-made communication instruments had been modified to hop frequencies to avoid detection. "This requires military expertise," Mr Singh said.
GPS and other navigational instruments were also found on Ali and four other terrorists who were killed. "That they had specific grid references for the route to be followed and GPS and topographical sheets establishes that these LeT terrorists were trained by a military expert," added the NIA officer.
Ali, said to have been born in Lahore, has asked for consular access to Pakistan, the NIA claims. On Tuesday, India summoned Pakistan's high commissioner in New Delhi to protest against the infiltration of terrorists from across the border. In a hard-hitting speech in Islamabad last week, Home Minister Rajnath Singh sent out a clear and sharp message that nations that support terror must be isolated and punished.