Yusuf Chopan, an accused in the Pulwama attack conspiracy case, was granted bail on February 18 by a Delhi court after National Investigation Agency failed to file a chargesheet due to lack of “sufficient” evidence, according to a report in LiveLaw.
Leaving the NIA, a premier investigation red-faced, the order pronounced in a NIA court in Delhi’s Patiala House, said in the given situation, the accused was entitled to statutory bail.
Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, on February 14, 2019, over 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in a daring terror attack on the convoy on the J&K national highway. The attack became a key poll plank for Bharatiya Janata Party, which raked up ‘hyper nationalism’ anti-Pakistan rhetoric and romped back to power with an even better seat tally.
One year down the line, there has been no talk of any probe, neither has any accountability issue raised for the massive loss of lives of security personnel, with the Opposition also raising the issue during the Budget session of Parliament and demanding an answer from the Narendra Modi government.
Now, the NIA has conceded in court that the period of probe into Chopan’s role in the attack had lapsed on February 11, according to LiveLaw. The premier investigation agency said it had failed to file a chargesheet for “want of sufficient evidence”.
As per the NIA court order on February 18, 2020 (on LiveLaw website), Chopan has been in custody since the past 180 days “and the time of filing chargesheet has been elapsed and no chargesheet has been filed against the accused. On these grounds the accused seeks statutory bail.”
It further added that the it had granted bail, subject to furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000, said the order by the special NIA judge, Parveen Singh.
“Additionally, he shall not commit any similar offence, induce or influence any person capable of providing information with regard to the case or tamper with the evidence,” the order said.
Congress leader Ahmed Patel slammed the BJP-led government for this and accused it of “using the tragic attack for political purposes”.
The Pulwama terror attack has so far drawn a blank, with several questions remaining unanswered even after one year has passed and over 40 lives have been lost.
Also Watch : 10 Questions on the Aftermath of Pulwama Attack
In fact, the arrest in January this year of a decorated senior Jammu & Kashmir police officer, Davinder Singh, along with two Hizbul Mujahideen men, when they were on their way to Delhi, also kicked up a political row, as Singh was posted in Pulwama at the time of the terror attack.
Congress had raised questions over Singh’s role and asked if he was "only a pawn" in a "bigger conspiracy".