Srinagar, Feb 26: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday claimed that the Maruti Suzuki Eeco van used in the February 14 suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir's southern Pulwama was owned by a Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) operative and resident of Anantnag's Bijbehara area who had bought the vehicle just 10 days before the strike that killed over 49 CRPF jawans.
Sajjad Bhat, a student of Siraj-ul-Uloom, purchased the used vehicle on February 4, an NIA spokesperson said. Raids were conducted by a team of the NIA and police at his house on Saturday but Sajjad was not present, he said.
Adding that he has reportedly joined the JeM and his photograph also appeared on social media where he is seen holding weapons. So far, the NIA has questioned around a dozen people detained by the police following the blast, officials said.
Describing the identification of the vehicle and its owner as a significant finding, it said.
"Piecing together remains of the vehicle used by the suicide bomber in the Pulwama attack on CRPF convoy, from the scene of incident, NIA investigators, with the support of forensic and automobile experts, have been able to identify the vehicle used for the blast."