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Poonch man, believed to be deported from a Gulf nation, held in Jammu in a militancy case

India’s National Investigation Agency on Thursday arrested a person upon his arrival at the Jammu airport in connection with a case of infiltration of militants in Poonch and smuggling of narcotics, officials said.

Accused Shahid Naveed of Mendhar in Poonch district is alleged to be a close associate of Sher Ali, the main coordinator and facilitator of militant activities of various groups in the area, the officials said.

Ali was arrested on February 17, and Naveed’s name came up during his interrogation.

Both Ali and Naveed were operating from Kuwait, and their involvement in militant activities surfaced during the investigation of a case lodged in Mendhar police station last year following the killing of two Pakistani militants affiliated with the JK Ghaznavi Force in an encounter at Surankote in Poonch on December 13.

After the arrest of Ali in February, the NIA took over the case, the officials said.

Naveed is believed to have been deported from a Gulf country and was brought to India under strict supervision. He was flown to Jammu for handing over to the NIA, the officials said.

A police investigation had revealed that Ali facilitated the entry of the two militants from the Dabbi area of Balakote on the intervening night of November 24 and 25 last year at the behest of Pakistani handler Sultan, the officials said.

Ali allegedly headed a network of overground workers who were behind the smuggling of arms and ammunition.

Ali’s father Mushtaq Ahmed and sister Raskeem Akhter were arrested by Poonch police on September 11 for receiving the arms consignment from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and an FIR stands registered in Mendhar in this connection, police had said.

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