Thursday, April 27, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Brain behind Indian plane hijack held

CALCUTTA, April 26 (UNI) — In a major breakthrough West Bengal Police arrested an ISI agent, who masterminded the hijacking of the Indian Airline flight IC-814 from Kathmandu, from a border village in north 24 Parganas district last night, official sources said here today.

“Belal alias Laloo Mian alias Noor Mian is an ISI agent and a member of an international gang engaged in hijacking aircraft,” a senior police official said.

“He has many names and several passports. He earlier had escaped our dragnet. But this time we could nab him,” the official said.

He said acting on a tip-off a police party cordoned off the Shakchura area and arrested Belal from a house there.

“Belal did not offer any resistance and surrendered,” the police said.

The IA aircraft, carrying 189 passengers, was hijacked in December last while on its way to New Delhi from Kathmandu.

Belal would be produced before a court in Basirhat and might be taken to Amritsar, where a case against the hijackers had already started, the official said.

High-level teams from the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Intelligence Bureau had arrived in the city to interrogate Belal and take him to Amritsar.

He said the police had already launched raids to arrest Belal’s associates working in different parts of the state,” he is a major player and we are leaving no stone unturned to unearth his entire network,” the official said.

Earlier, CBI men arrested one person from Kalimpong in Darjeeling district last month on charges of supplying arms and explosives to the hijackers in Kathmandu.

Superintendent of Police Kuldip Singh said Belal, who hailed from Shylet of Bangladesh, received arms training in Kashmir and used to help the terrorists and ISI activists cross the Indo-Bangla border following instructions from Mumbai.

The SP said Belal had confessed that he had helped one of the hijackers Abdur Rahaman to cross the Indo-Bangla border in June last year following telephonic instructions from Mumbai.

He said Belal was arrested by the police on two occasions, in 1997 and in 1998. In 1997 he was arrested in Basirhat for illegally crossing over to India and was sent back after trial.


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