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India releases Muzaffarabad 'guides' held for suspected involvement in Uri attack: report

India releases Muzaffarabad 'guides' held for suspected involvement in Uri attack: report

India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday said it had released two men from Muzaffarabad who were arrested last year for their suspected involvement in the Sept 2016 Uri army base attack in India-held Kashmir, India Today reported.

Faizal Hussain Awan and his friend Yasin Khurshid, residents of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, were released from NIA custody after no evidence surfaced against them during an investigation into the Uri attack, the report claimed.

"Hussain and Khursheed have been released and handed over to the Army's 16 Corps headquarters today (Wednesday) for sending them back to Pakistani authorities," an NIA official told India Today.

The NIA's investigation revealed that the two men had allegedly crossed over to held Kashmir after a disagreement with their parents over pressure regarding their education.

The NIA said evidence in the form of statements, technical analyses of cellphones, and seized GPS devices, as well as other circumstantial evidence, did not turn up any link between the suspects and the Uri attackers.

The two men were arrested on Sept 21 after an attack left 19 Indian soldiers dead after the attack on the Uri army base in IHK in the run-up to Pakistan and India's showdown at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) over Kashmir.

Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had alleged that local villagers apprehended two Muzaffarabad-based 'guides' which India claims facilitated the Uri attackers.

On Feb 27, Pakistan rejected Indian allegations of its involvement in the Uri army base attack, soon after Indian authorities said they had shared "evidence" with Pakistan High Commissioner to New Delhi Abdul Basit.

Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit had said that India was trying to divert the world’s attention from atrocities being committed by Indian forces in IHK by blaming the Uri attack on Pakistan.

India had accused Pakistan of involvement immediately after the attack, terming it a 'terrorist state' at the UNGA.

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