ISI spy Zahir Hussain pleads guilty to terror charges in NIA court
Alleged ISI operative Mohammed Zahir Hussain on Thursday pleaded guilty in an NIA court here to the charges against him including waging war against India by conspiring to carry out terror acts at the behest of his handlers in Pakistan High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Chennai: Alleged ISI operative Mohammed Zahir Hussain on Thursday pleaded guilty in an NIA court here to the charges against him including waging war against India by conspiring to carry out terror acts at the behest of his handlers in Pakistan High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Zahir Hussain, a Sri Lankan Tamil, pleaded guilty to various offences under the IPC and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act before designated NIA court Judge M Moni when charges were framed against him and two other accused.
However, the other accused -- Siva Balan, also a Sri Lankan national, and Mohammed Saleem -- denied the charges against them which were similar to that of Hussain.
Besides conspiracy to stage terror attacks at locations, including American and Israeli consulates, Hussain also pleaded guilty to charges of circulating "high-quality" fake currency to destabilise the Indian economy.
Hussain, arrested on April 29 last here, also said he worked at the behest of his handlers, Amir Zubair Siddique and "Boss" alias Shah, officials at the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo.
Mohammed Hossaini, also a Lankan national and based in Malaysia, (also an accused in this case) had "guided" him in his conspiracy, he told the court.
"Zahir tried to damage Indian sovereignty and integrity by waging war against it and (attempted) to destabilise our economy. He has pleaded guilty," National Investigation Agency (NIA) Public Prosecutor, CSS Pillai later told PTI.
On October 24, a preliminary chargesheet was filed by the NIA in the court against the three.
Over 40 persons have been cited as witnesses and out of them the identity of 20 have not been disclosed.
Out of the total nine accused in the case, four are in judicial custody and five are absconding. A request to extradite Hossaini, is pending with Malaysian authorities.
Probe against Rafiq, now in Puzhal prison here, is continuing. Counterfeit currency and an unlicensed gun were recovered from Rafiq. Cases under Arms Act were also booked against him.
During arrest of Hussain, police had allegedly seized incriminating evidence including maps of Chennai city, images of key installations, and counterfeit currency. Later the case was taken up by the NIA.
The arrests of Siva Balan, Mohammed Saleem and Rafiq followed.
In September last, Arun Selvarajan, another suspected ISI operative was arrested. It marked a milestone in the probe against Pakistan commissioned operatives who tried to spy and strike terror.
Selvaraj is being probed as part of the Thameem Ansari case. Ansari, another suspected ISI spy module, was arrested in September 2012.