Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir): The Jammu and Kashmir State Investigation Agency (SIA) Kashmir on Saturday filed a charge sheet against 12 individuals in connection with the murder of Kashmiri Pandit Sanjay Sharma in February last year. The case, initially registered at Police Station Litter Pulwama under FIR No. 14/2023, was later transferred to SIA Kashmir for a specialized investigation, revealing a broader conspiracy originating from across the border.
"The crime occurred on February 26, 2023, at Achhan village of Pulwama, with the subsequent investigation pointing towards a sinister plot aimed at disrupting the revival of peace and communal harmony in the valley. The perpetrators, in a bid to fuel communal disharmony and sustain terrorism, strategically targeted an innocent individual from the minority community," the agency said in a statement.
It further said, "Upon taking over the case, SIA Kashmir launched an extensive investigation, conducting searches across South Kashmir. These efforts unearthed vital physical and technical evidence, exposing the accused persons' involvement in the crime. The charges include providing logistical support, harboring the accused, and concealing evidence. Throughout the investigation, SIA carried out five rounds of extensive searches at 32 locations across the valley, resulting in the seizure of mobile devices, incriminating documents, bank documents, and a pistol magazine with live cartridges."
On Saturday, the charge sheet was filed before the Special Designated Court under the NIA Act at Pulwama against the accused Jazim Farooq Wani alias Abrar, Khalid Kamran (R/o Pakistan), Zaffar Hussain Bhat alias Khursheed Kashmiri, Nassir Farooq Shah, Aamir Hussain Wani, Shameem Ahmad Bhat alias Uncle, Towseef Ahmad Pandith, Sajjad Ahmad Bhat alias Afnan Bhat, Sarjeel Ahmad Bhat, Danish Ahmad Thokar, Ubaid Ahmad Paddar and Sahil Bashir Dar.
Eleven out of total 11 accused named in the charge sheet are residents of south Kashmir while the remaining one is from Pakistan. While Yasir Shabir Wani remains under investigation, eight out of the thirteen accused, including three juveniles, are currently under judicial custody. Notably, Jazim Farooq Wani, Danish Hamid Thokar, and Ubaid Ahmad Paddar have been killed in encounters with security forces.
Meanwhile, Zaffar Hussain Bhat and Khalid Kamran are presently absconding in the case. According to the SIA, the investigation has unveiled that the accused individuals were “acting on instructions from terror handlers across the border, maintaining communication via encrypted online messaging platforms”. Jazim Farooq Wani, identified as the trigger-man, received weapon handling training from Nassir Farooq Shah on the directives of Pakistani handler Khalid Kamran, the SIA said.
The agency asserted that it is vigorously pursuing the case in the court, with the investigation set to continue. “The agency aims to ensure that all accused individuals involved in the crime are brought to justice, holding them accountable for their actions that sought to disrupt peace and communal harmony in the Kashmir Valley,” it said.