Top militant Mehrajuddin Wani,suspected to be involved in the 13-year-old Kandahar hijack case will be sent to the Joint Interrogation Cell (JIC) for thorough questioning to know more about his role in various terror attacks besides the IC-814 hijack.
“Top militant Mehrajuddin Wani alias Javed Dand arrested by police in Kishtwar will be sent to Joint Interrogation Cell (JIC) for thorough interrogation to know further details about various cases,including the hijack”,a senior police officer said.
He is likely to be shifted to JIC in Jammu by tomorrow. Police has also registered case against him.
“He is a store house of information and knows of various terror acts in Jammu and Kashmir and outside – and also about top Pakistan-based terrorists”,he said.
On specific information that he was travelling from Nepal to Kashmir,Mehrajuddin was arrested in Kishtwar district,Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jammu Zone,Dilbagh Singh told reporters here.
Mehrajuddin was one of the first five militants who launched militancy in Jammu and Kashmir in 1987 and later crossed over to PoK in 1989 to get arms training returning
after three months,he said.
He belongs to militancy-hit Sopore town of north Kashmir and was a member of UJC,an umbrella group of several militant outfits and had close relations with United Jihad Council (UJC) chief Syed Salahuddin and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s D-company.
Referring to his name figuring in the IC-814 hijack case,the IGP said,”We suspect that his services had been used (in the hijacking). He knew about the hijacking– he was there (in Nepal) when the aircraft was hijacked in 1999″.
“But he has not revealed anything about his direct involvement in it”,he said.
“But we are investigating all this”,the IGP said,adding,that he is a big catch for the security agencies.
Singh denied that Mehrajuddin’s name figured in any challan produced by CBI in the Kandahar hijack case. “His name does not figure in the challan. He has acquired half a dozen fake names for various operations,so the investigation is on”.
The Indian Airlines plane,with mainly Indian passengers,had taken off from Nepal on December 24,1999,and just as it entered the Indian airspace,militants hijacked it to Kandahar in Afghanistan.
The hijackers also killed one passenger. The aircraft was released when Indian government set free three terrorists,including JeM Chief Maulana Masood Azhar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh,for the safe return of passengers.
Asserting that the name of an embassy in Nepal has figured in smuggling of arms,ammunition and fake currency into India,the IGP said,”Mehrajuddin had developed very close rapport with an unspecified embassy and had close relations with its diplomat– and with the help of this diplomat he used to carry out smuggling of weapons,ammunition,small arms and fake currency into India”.
“He exploited the diplomatic channel for this operation and used its network for these operations”,he said.
During interrogation,Mehrajuddin had given details about his relations with Syed Salahuddin,Anees Ibrahim and Dawood Ibrahim,who figure in the list of 20 most wanted persons India has given to Pakistan.