Lens on Mobile Retailer Who Sold SIMs To Jawans

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Jammu: National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials are investigating 11 local shopkeepers, including a mobile phone retailer who sold SIM cards to the soldiers of 6 Bihar.

The retailer has drawn the NIA’s attention for exceeding his business day at the camp by three hours last Saturday. Hours later, at the crack of dawn on Sunday, the camp was attacked by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists. The usual time for the daily closure of shops inside the Army camp is sunset, around 6.30pm.

Digital and print registers for entry and departure are maintained by the Military Police (MP) at the camp gate. “Although he’s an old hand at the brigade, he’d recently curried favour with troops when he gave SIM cards to them. The day before the attack, he didn’t go (shut shop) until 10pm, which is very unusual. He will be interrogated,” a top sleuth said.

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Among the 11 being investigated are shopkeepers who sell wares such as school and Army uniforms, groceries and tableware. The NIA is also looking at a couple of other shopkeepers who sell mobile accessories.

Meanwhile, Chinese cigarette gas lighters brought by the terrorists are likely to have ignited the massive fire at the diesel dump that took the lives of 13 troopers at the 12th Brigade headquarters in Uri. Three lighters, in the colours aqua blue, green and yellow, were recovered from the attack site.

The photographs reveal how the fire melted, and in some instances, cracked kitchenware like steel saucers and large metal food containers.

The pictures also reveal the details of the terrorists’ camouflage outfits, including gloves, waist packs, magazine pouches and tactical shoulder bags used to carry GPS devices, maps, opiate-type drugs, syringes, and first-aid items. “The pictures show how they’d taken shots of morphine in their arms whenever bullets struck them,” said an officer.