'ISI indoctrinated IC-814 hijack suspect'
Jammu: Mehrajuddin alias Javed, a top militant who was arrested during an operation in Kishtwar forest belt on Wednesday night, has given details of the IC-814 hijacking in 1999 to the Jammu and Kashmir police.
In a shocking revelation, , Dilbagh Singh, the Inspector General (IG) of police of Jammu region, said on Thursday that Mehrajuddin sent ammo to India for militancy via diplomats of a specific country. The Jammu and Kashmir police suspect that this diplomatic channel was used for hijacking India-bound plane from Nepal in 1999.
Mehrajuddin, however, has not admitted his involvement in the hijacking, but said he was present in Nepal and he was connected to 'agencies'.
Singh, however, added that details provided by Mehrajuddin during interrogation are being verified.
According to Singh, Mehrajuddin visited Pakistan many times with different passports and identity every time. He has told the Jammu and Kashmir police that "Gilani Saab" helped him get a visa at one time. He also claimed to have more than six identities, adding that he is married to a Hindu girl.
The terror suspect, who was operating for the last 25 years in the state, was indoctrinated by Pakistan’s intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Singh said. After working with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his 'D Company' in Pakistan, Mehrajuddin came to Delhi and did hawala work. He then went to Nepal.
Mehrajuddin alias Javed is also a close associate of United Jihad Council (UJC) chief Syed Salahuddin.
He allegedly provided logistic support for hijacking of the Indian aircraft to Kandahar from Nepal.
The Indian Airlines plane, with mainly Indians passengers, had taken off from Nepal on December 24, 1999 and just as it entered Indian airspace, the militants hijacked it to Kandahar in Afghanistan. The hijackers also killed one passenger.
The hijacking ended when the Indian government released three terrorists including Maulana Masood Azhar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh for the safe return of the passengers.
Mehrajuddin was one of the first five militants including Salahuddin who crossed over into PoK in 1987 to get arms training.
He belongs to militancy affected Sopore town of North Kashmir and was a member of UJC, an umbrella group of several militant outfits.
Police have described his arrest as a big catch.
Mehrajuddin has worked for almost all militant organisations including Islamic Front, Muslim Mujahiddin, Hizbul Mujahiddin and others.