Man detained in Chile not conspirator of IA hijack

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - 17:44

New Delhi: The CBI has conclusively
established that the person detained in Chile is not the man
it was looking for in connection with the conspiracy in the
hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane in 1999 and that he was
just a visa offender.

The person -- Abdul Rauf -- who was detained by the
Chilean Police way back in January this year had entered the
South American country along with four other Pakistani
nationals, official sources said on Wednesday.

During investigations carried out recently by a
two-member Indian security team in Chile, Rauf stated in his
interrogation that he had entered that country through illegal
means and that he had no knowledge about any conspiracy
relating to the hijacking of the plane(IC 814) in 1999, the
sources said.

The visiting team also questioned four other Pakistani
nationals lodged in different jails of Chile who had
accompanied Rauf while entering this country, the sources
added.

The sources said the statements of other Pakistani
nationals were required to corroborate Rauf`s interrogation
report.

The suspicion that Rauf could be the same person who was
involved in the conspiracy arose as a result of a faux pas due
to some communication errors by the Indian Mission in Santiago
to Ministry of External Affairs in which the parentage and
place of birth of Rauf was wrongly given and different from
the notings made by the Chilean police.

The sources said that the first information about the
detention of a person identified as Abdul Rauf came to the CBI
as early as in January this year but the agency did not pursue
it as the parentage and the place of birth was different from
that of the person wanted by the CBI in connection with
hijacking of the Indian Airlines plane.

The same information was sent by the Indian Mission in
one of its messages to the Ministry of External Affairs in New
Delhi but erroneously mentioned the place of birth and
parentage as the same which was there in CBI records.

The CBI had received an information about the same in
January and was not found to be correct after it was verified
and checked, the sources said.

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 to move forward as neither Rauf`s picture nor his
finger prints was available with the investigation agency.

The CBI officials also took note of the fact that US`
Federal Bureau of Investigations had registered a case in the
hijacking of IC-814 and that the agency would have checked the
antecedents about the detained person earlier.

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.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - 17:44

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