After securing an arrest warrant from a special court, National Investigative Agency (NIA) has approached the Interpol for issuing a Red Corner Notice against Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar and three others for their alleged role in the conspiracy to attack the strategic Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.
Official sources said a dossier along with the non-bailable warrant issued by a special NIA court in Mohali in Punjab was sent to the CBI, which is the nodal agency representing the Interpol in the country.
NIA had sought warrant against 47-year-old Azhar, his brother Abdul Rauf, Kashif Jan and Shahid Latif, two handlers of JeM terrorists who had infiltrated into India through Bamiyal sector of Punjab in the wee hours of December 30 to launch the terror assault.
The JeM terrorists had initially hijacked a taxi and killed its driver Ikagar Singh before commandeering another vehicle which carried a Punjab police officer Salwinder Singh, his friend Rajesh Verma and cook Madan Gopal on the intervening night of December 31 and January one.
The terrorists, four of whom have been identified as Nasir Hussain (Punjab province), Abu Bakar, (Gujranwala), Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum (both from Sindh), entered into the IAF base and carried out a suicide attack in the wee hours of January 2.
The NIA court had issued an ‘open-ended non-bailable warrant’ against Azhar and three others for allegedly entering into a criminal conspiracy with JeM terrorists and carrying out a terror strike on the IAF base which left seven security personnel dead. Bodies of four slain terrorists were also recovered from the sight of encounter which lasted nearly 80 hours.
The NIA has forwarded the warrant to Interpol along with the gist of evidence that it has found against the four which included telephonic conversation between the terrorists and their handlers like Jaan and Latif.
The NIA has also shared the Internet Protocol address of the website which uploaded a video of Abdul Rauf, brother of Masood Azhar. In the video, he was seen claiming responsibility for the attack and complimenting his boys for it. The video has since been removed and the website has also gone off the cyber world.
India had built a strong case for seeking UN sanctions against Azhar but the move was vetoed by China.
An Interpol Red Corner notice is already pending against Azhar for his alleged involvement in the conspiracy behind attacks on Parliament and Jammu and Kashmir state assembly.
Similarly an Interpol Red Corner Notice is pending against Abdul Rauf in connection with the IC-814 hijacking case of 1999.