Key conspirator in IC-814 hijacking nabbed?

Suspected conspirator Abdul Rauf has been detained by the police in Chile.

New Delhi: A person suspected to be a key
conspirator in the hijacking of Indian Airlines plane (IC-814)
has been detained in Chile and the CBI will be dispatching a
team to the South American nation soon to verify whether he is
the same person wanted in this country.

Highly-placed sources in the Government and the probe
agency said on Monday that the Chilean police informed the CBI
that they had detained a person identified as Abdul Rauf and
that there was also an Interpol Red Corner notice pending
against him.

The sources said that the Chilean police had also sent
his finger prints for verification but the CBI expressed its
inability as neither Rauf`s picture nor his finger prints was
available with the investigation agency.

A team would be soon going to Chile to ascertain his
identity as well as question him, the sources said, adding
some help from western friendly intelligence agencies was
likely to be taken in this connection.

Abdul Rauf wanted by the CBI is the brother-in-law of
Jaish-e-Mohammed Chief Maulana Masood Azhar and was among the
main conspirators in the hijacking of Indian Airlines plane
from Kathmandu on December 24, 1999.

The Jaish chief was among the three terrorists exchanged
for the plane and over 160 passenger after eight-days of
negotiations carried out at Kandhahar, a city in Southern

According to the confessional statement of Abdul Latif,
one of the conspirators who is in jail at present, Abdul Rauf
and Yusuf Azhar, brother of Azhar, criss-crossed India and
Nepal several times.

It was is July 1999 that the hijack plot took concrete
shape and the conspirators held several secret meetings in
Dhaka and Mumbai.

In August, Ibrahim Attar (or Chief), the second brother
of Maulana Masood Azhar, informed Abdul Latif about the plan
and the forged passports and travel documents for the five
hijackers were arranged.

Dilip Bhujel had already delivered the guns and grenades
via the Kalingpong route. A crucial meeting between the gang
took place in the Kathmandu Zoo on December 13, where Latif
was told he would not be on the hijacked plane but should
remain as the gang`s point-man in Mumbai.

Thereafter, the hijackers moved to their base in
Kathmandu but kept in touch with Abdul Latif, who, in turn,
relayed the messages to Abdul Rauf in Karachi. On the fateful
day too, the hijackers kept informing him when they cleared
security for boarding IC-814 or when they were in the waiting

It was the telephone call made by Abdul Rauf to Abdul
Latif, asking him to call up the BBC offices in London and
give details of the hijacking, which were intercepted and the
arrests were made.


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