SC Clears Prosecution of Militants in JK’s Highway Attack

   

SRINAGAR: The Supreme Court has cleared the path for prosecuting six members of Hizbul Mujahideen, accused of orchestrating a failed car suicide bombing targeting a Central Reserve Police Force convoy in Banihal on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in March 2019.

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The Supreme Court overturned the Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s ruling, which upheld the trial court’s acquittal due to a procedural error. Drawing parallels with the deadly Pulwama attack in February 2019, the Supreme Court deemed the procedural error rectifiable and allowed prosecution under the UAPA by adhering to prescribed procedures.

A suspect identified as Amin from South Kashmir allegedly attempted the attack, similar to the Pulwama incident. Following the Pulwama attack, the Union Home Ministry transferred the investigation to the NIA. In September 2019, the NIA filed a charge sheet, accusing Amin and five others of plotting to kill security personnel.

However, in March 2020, a special court discharged Amin due to the lack of authorization for the District Magistrate to file a complaint.

The J&K High Court upheld Amin’s exoneration in April 2021. In February 2021, the NIA filed a supplementary charge sheet against Naveed Mushtaq Shah, a former J&K Police constable who joined Hizbul Mujahideen.

According to the NIA, Shah played an active role in planning and carrying out the attack on the CRPF convoy, along with other terrorists who were subsequently killed in encounters with security forces.

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