The explosive-laden vehicle used for the suicide attack in Pulwama was a mini-van whose owner is on the run, investigators said today. The van, filled with at least 20 kg of RDX, was driven into the 78-vehicle CRPF convoy by a suicide bomber of Jaish-e Mohammad on the afternoon of February 14.
The Maruti Suzuki Ecco van was first bought in 2011 and changed hands seven times since. It last buyer was Sajjad Bhat, a resident of Anantnag’s Bijbehara. Purchase was made just 10 days before the terror strike, the agency said. But the investigators drew a blank when they raided his home on February 23.
Bhat, 19, was a student of a madrasa, Siraj-ul-Uloom, in Shopian. Sources say he disappeared on the day of attack and today his photo, holding guns, surfaced on social media, declaring his entry to Jaish.
Bhat is seen as the second underground link to Jaish, whose top order has been wiped out in the Kashmir Valley in encounters with the security forces over the last few years.