NIA chargesheets 2 overground workers in 2023 Kokernag encounter case

Srinagar,  The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday chargesheeted two accused in the Kokernag Anantnag encounter case.

The encounter now probed by the NIA began on the night of September 13, 2023 when the senior officers came under heavy fire as they approached the suspected hideout in the Gadole forest in Kokernag.

Due to the intense firefight, an Army Colonel, a Major, a Deputy Superintendent of J&K Police were killed. During the initial shootout, another soldier was also injured and his body was found on the third day of the operation.

The operation lasted for seven days in which top Lashkar-e-Toiba Commander Uzair Khan was killed.

NIA said the chargesheet was filed today before the NIA Special Court, Jammu, against Mohammad Akbar Dar and Ghulam Nabi Dar, both residents of Kokernag area of Anantnag.

The duo have been charged under various sections of IPC, Arms Act and UA(P) Act.

NIA Investigations revealed that the two accused were working as overground workers (OGWs) for Uzair Khan.

“The duo was helping the terrorists active in the area to commit terror acts & activities in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. They were providing information about the movement of the security forces, along with logistic support in the form of food, daily need items, etc. They were also harbouring terrorists by providing them shelter,” the NIA investigation revealed.

The NIA said the terrorist killed in the encounter was an active member of The Resistant Front (TRF), an off-shoot of LeT.

They said Uzair had joined the LeT in August 2022 and was involved in promoting terror activities against security forces in Anantnag area through Pakistani handlers from across the border.

“He had also been involved in earlier terror incidents in the Kokernag area, and on previous two occasions, he had managed to flee from the clutches of the security forces after taking advantage of the mountainous/forest terrain,” NIA spokesman said.

“Both LeT and TRF are proscribed organisations and have been involved in continuous instigation/motivation of Kashmiri youth to join the terror outfits in the name of Jihad,” he added.

The NIA said LeT is the largest terrorist group formed in early 1990s, and actively engaged in reviving the network in the Anantnag area. It is working through various offshoots in Jammu & Kashmir region.

“The two outfits are operating on social media platforms like Twitter, Telegram and Youtube channels to promote their cause and lure unemployed youth to carry out terror activities,” NIA said.

The case was initially registered on September 13, at Police Station Kokernag in Anantnag district, and re-registered by NIA on December 5.