The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday arrested one more person, allegedly involved in Pulwama suicide attack that killed 40 paramilitary CRPF personnel last February.

The arrested person was identified as Mohammad Iqbal Rather (25) from Futlipura, Charar-e-Shareef, in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

“In the continuing investigation of Pulwama attack case in which 40 CRPF personnel were martyred, in an IED blast on 14.2.2019, today (i.e. on 02.07.2020) NIA arrested one more accused namely Iqbal Rather,” a spokesperson of the NIA said in a statement.

He said Rather had facilitated the movement of Muhammad Umar Farooq, the JeM terrorist and a key conspirator in this case, after he infiltrated into the Indian territory in Jammu region in April, 2018, from the National Highway near International border to south Kashmir. “Farooq, along with others, had assembled the IED used in the attack,” the spokesperson said.

According to the NIA, Rather had been undergoing judicial custody since September 2018 in another Jaish-e-Mohammed related case investigated by the probe agency. “As such, he was produced by the Jail authorities before the NIA Special Court, Jammu today i.e. 02.07.2020, and was taken into seven day’s NIA custody for his interrogation,” the spokesperson said.

He said Initial examination has revealed that Rather was in constant touch with Pakistan-based leadership of the Jaish and was in communication with them over secure messaging applications. “Rather was part of the transportation module of the Jaish terrorist organization,” he said.

With this arrest, the NIA has so far arrested six accused persons in this case.

40 CRPF personnel, travelling in a convoy on south Kashmir highway in Pulwama district, were killed on February 14, 2019 when suicide-bomber Adil Ahmad Dar rammed a car loaded with explosives into the paramilitary bus at around 3.15 pm at Lethpora. The impact of the blast reduced the bus to a mangled heap.