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NIA arrests 5th accused in 2017 Lethpora CRPF Group Centre attack

NEW DELHI

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Sunday arrested the fifth accused in connection with a militant attack on the CRPF group centre at Lethpora village in Pulwama district in December 2017 that killed five personnel, officials said here.

An NIA spokesman said Irshad Ahmad Reshi was picked up from Pulwama in south Kashmir after the interrogation of Nisar Ahmed Tantray and Syed Hilal Andrabi, nabbed earlier by the probe agency.

He alleged that Reshi was an over ground worker of the proscribed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) group and a close associate of slain militant Noor Mohammad Tantray alias Noor Trali, a little over four-feet tall.

Trali, who was instrumental in reviving the outfit in the Valley, was killed in an encounter with security forces in December 2017.

The spokesman said the attack on CRPF Group Centre at Lethpora was executed under a conspiracy to avenge the death of Trali.

He alleged that Reshi has been found to be a key conspirator who provided logistic support in the form of sheltering and transport for the militant and conducted reconnaissance of the CRPF group centre before the attack.

The attack on the CRPF centre was carried out in the intervening night of December 30 and 31 in 2017 by three militants belonging to the JeM.

The militants were identified as Fardeen Ahmad Khandey, Manzoor Baba and a Pakistani, Abdul Shakoor, a resident of the Rawalakot area of Pakistan Administered Kashmir.

Five CRPF personnel were killed in the attack. The three militants were also eliminated.

Besides Tantray and Andrabi, the other accused arrested in the case are Fayaz Ahmad Magrey and Manzoor Ahmed Bhat.

Reshi will be produced before the Special NIA court in Jammu on Monday with a request for grant of police custody for further investigation, the spokesman said.

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