Mumbai: Indian security agencies may have got hold of Mumbai attack key handler Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jindal after one of the longest covert operation but it was some vital evidence provided by 26/11 death row convict Ajmal Kasab that pointed to his active involvement.
The hunt for Jundal and his eventual deportation to India had also involved seeking the help of Kasab, the lone surviving Pakistani gunman who was part of terror outfit Lashker Taiba`s Mumbai operation in 2008.
Immediately after the arrest of Jundal in the first week of May in Saudi Arabia last year following intelligence inputs provided by Indian security agencies, the authorities in Riyadh informed India about his detention.
Saudi Authorities at the same time also informed that his name was Riyasat Ali and he had a Pakistani Passport and Computerised Personal Identification Card issued at Karachi, officials associated with the probe said on Sunday.
The photograph of Jundal was discreetly sent to Kasab, who is lodged in the high-security Arthur Road jail here, to identify the person but the accused could not identify him, official sources said.
The sources pointed fingers at the outdated data base of wanted people especially by Maharashtra Police which was giving anxious moments to security agencies.
This operation to identify Jundal was kept under wraps and even the higher ups in Maharashtra Police were not kept in the loop.
Kasab along with 11 others had been taught Hindi and
other routine do`s and dont`s in Mumbai by Jundal. While 10 along with Kasab were given a lesson again before setting of their journey to Mumbai in 2008, two others had been dropped.
The failure to identify Jundal had left security agencies with no other option other than to go for DNA matching. A senior official of Mumbai police was roped in for this covert operation to secure a DNA sample from the father of 31-year-old Jundal.
After securing the DNA sample and once the Indian security agencies stood vindicated about the identity of Jundal, a fresh picture sent by the Saudi authorities to India was again shown to Kasab to which he immediately identified him but remarked that he had grown a little fat.