Jammu: Top militant Mehrajuddin Wani, suspected to be involved in the 13-year-old Kandahar hijack case and having close links with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, has been arrested in Kishtwar district by the Jammu and Kashmir police, who said he was a "big catch".
Acting on inputs that he was travelling from Nepal to Kashmir, police arrested Mehrajjudin alias Javed Dand in Kishtwar, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jammu Zone Dilbagh Singh told reporters here on Thursday.
Mehrajuddin was among the first five militants who launched the militancy in J&K in 1987 and later crossed over to PoK in 1989 to get arms training and returned back after three months to start oprations in the state, Singh said.
He belongs to militancy-hit Sopore town of north Kashmir and was a member of UJC, an umbrella group of several militant outfits and had close association with United Jihad Council (UJC) chief Syed Salahuddin and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim`s D-company, he said.
During questioning, Mehrajuddin said that a diplomat of an unspecified embassy in Nepal was "deeply involved" in the 1999 hijacking of the Indian Airlines aircraft (IC-814) to Kandahar in Afghanistan.
"Mehrajuddin told interrogators that a diplomat of an unspecified embassy (in Nepal) was deeply involved (in the Hijacking)"."We are investigating all this", the IGP said, adding, "he is big catch for the security agencies".
"We suspect that Mehrajuddin`s services have been used (in the Hijacking). He knew about the Hijacking--he was there (in Nepal) when the aircraft was hijacked in 1999," Singh said.
In Delhi, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said, "we have to confirm the reports. If correct, I congratulate the J&K police."
Police claimed that Mehrajuddin provided logistical support by giving fake travel documents to the five Pakistani men who hijacked IC-814 on December 24, 1999.