Srinagar: On the day Yakub Memon was hanged in a Nagpur jail, a Congress MLA in Kashmir on Thursday created a stir when he claimed meeting the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts mastermind Tiger Memon.
Militant-turned-Congress MLA Usman Majeed told DNA that Memon was undergoing arms training in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) when the duo met.
Majeed, who represents Bandipore in the Assembly, revealed that Tiger Memon feared that Pakistan's intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), might kill him after Yakub Memon "surrendered" to the Indian authorities.
"When Yakub surrendered, Tiger left Pakistan because he feared that the ISI will kill him. He felt humiliated and disgusted, and fled to Dubai. But after negotiations, they (ISI) brought him back because they did not want him to surrender. They feared Yakub might provide the platform and he will facilitate Tiger's surrender, too," Usman told DNA.
The Congress MLA further said that the ISI had provided good facilities to Tiger before Yakub surrendered. "But it was reduced after the surrender. He was not given even a house. He had three beautiful cars (before Yakub surrendered). After his return (from Dubai), he was provided only one old car," he said.
Hilal Beag, the founder of the Students Liberation Front and chief of the Ikhwan-ul-Muslimeen militant outfit, had introduced Usman to Tiger.
"It dates back to the end of 1993 when I met Tiger. I met him 2-3 times. He used to come to Muzaffarabad (capital of PoK). I was not friends with Tiger. Hilal introduced me to him saying he is the man," he said.
Usman had stayed in Pakistan for two years. Later, he returned and surrendered to Indian authorities. Usman decided to join the mainstream and won the Assembly Elections as an Independent candidate in 2002 from the Bandipora constituency.
Usman later became the minister of state in the then Mufti Mohammad Sayeed led PDP-Congress government. He was defeated by the PDP candidate in the 2008 Assembly Elections, but he wrested the seat in 2014 when he contested on a Congress ticket, reported DNA.