Monday, December 17, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

ISI supervised Parliament attack
Main coordinator of Jaish, two others arrested
J.T. Vishnu
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 16
The December 13 terrorist attack on Parliament House was carried out by five Pakistanis whose objective appeared to be to get inside the Parliament and kill as many politicians as possible, and the entire operation was under the guidance of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

Delhi Police chief says

  • Jaish, Lashkar carried out attack
  • Mohammad Afzal was main Jaish coordinator
  • No sixth person involved
  • Last minute change in plan
  • Militants entered the complex through gate No. 2
  • All attackers were Pakistanis
  • Breakthrough came through Delhi College lecturer
  • Plan hatched in first week of December

All the four accused persons have been remanded in police custody for seven days for further interrogation.

Delhi Police Commissioner Ajay Raj Sharma said the entire operation was carried out by the militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad with the help of another militant outfit Lakshar-e-Toiba.

However, he categorically ruled out the involvement of a sixth person in the operation, as there was considerable speculation about who drove the car.

Mr Sharma said, they wanted to commit a sensational act by doing something like this. In fact, initially they planned to launch attacks on the airport, but they changed the idea at the last minute and attacked Parliament.

Mr Ajay Raj Sharma, Commissioner of Delhi Police, with Mr Suresh Roy, Joint Commissioner, New Delhi. — Photo Mukesh Aggarwal

Arrested militants Mohammed Afzal, centre, Syed Abdul Rehman Gilani, left with glasses, and Shaukat Hussain, right, stand with police officers outside a special cell following their arrest in connection with the attack on Parliament, in New Delhi on Sunday. — PTI photo 

All the slain militants had entered the Parliament complex through Gate No 2, with AK rifles, 9mm pistols, grenade launcher, grenade shells, hand grenades and improvised explosive devices, and resorted to indiscriminate firing.

He said the Delhi Police was an investigating agency and “we have done our job. In case any information is sought from us for evidence we will provide information to the government”.

He also said the militants were getting instructions from across the border, but ruled out any overseas link.

A crack team of the Special Cell led by DCP Ashok Chand, with ACP Rajbir Singh was given the charge.

He said the police had arrested A R Gilani with three others Afzal, Shaukat and Navjot alias Afsana in this connection. This had so far revealed the involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammad, and further interrogations were on to verify with the help of intelligence agencies.

All five who were involved in the attack were Pakistanis — Hamza, Haider alias Tufail, Rana and Raja under the leadership of Mohammad, who was also killed in Parliament by the security forces during the attacks.

The breakthrough came with the help of intelligence agencies picking up Syed Abdul Rehman Gilani, a Delhi University lecturer of Arabic in Zakir Hussain College (Evening), on December 15, who was in constant touch with the slain militants.

He provided vital clues to the investigation revealed two more persons Mohammad Afzal and Shaukat Hussain, who had been in touch with the militants. In fact, during investigation the officials found out that Mohammad Afzal was the main co-ordinator of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Delhi, and a member of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).

Mr Sharma while disclosing that the conspiracy was going on for the past three months, and meetings were conducted at different places in the Capital, the plan to launch attacks on Parliament was hatched in the first week of December.

Gilani also told the police, that Afzal and Shaukat (Afzal’s cousin), with whom Afzal was staying in Mukherji Nagar, had left for Srinagar on the day of attacks. When the police team immediately raided Shaukat’s house, they picked up his wife Navjot Sandhu and she disclosed that she was aware of their plans and that they had taken a truck bearing no HR-38-E-6733, and would be in the fruit market.

The officials immediately informed the J&K police and five persons — including the duo, two drivers and one helper — were apprehended and taken into police custody. One lap-top and Rs 10 lakh in cash were recovered from them.

The police also disclosed that Afzal, a trained militant who underwent training in a camp in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), in Muzzafarabad was smuggled into India in 1990 and subsequently brought to Delhi by Shaukat Hussain.

In February 2001, Afzal was contacted by Tariq, a close associate of Ghazi Baba, a supreme commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad, a Pakistani national and resident of Bahawalpur.

In fact, Ghazi Baba motivated him to join Jaish-e-Mohammed, and said Shaukat, A R Gilani and others would be part of their conspiracy for conducting the fidayeen attack in Delhi.

On whether an effort was made to arrest Ghazi Baba, Mr Sharma replied that would be looked after by the J&K police.

And Afzal came to Delhi along with a laptop and Rs 50,000. Several others joined the group. Finally they were taken to a hideout at Gandhi Nagar. Later two more persons Rana and Hamza, both Pakistani nationals, joined the group.

The police said they came to Delhi in December 2001, with four AK rifles, three pistols, 12 magazines, one grenade launcher, 15 shells, 15 grenades, two packets of detonators, radio activated devices and two wireless sets.

They also purchased a Yamaha motor cycle in Karol Bagh for Rs 20,000 and conducted repeated recce of Parliament House. But they didn’t go inside. Later they purchased five mobile phones, six SIM cards, five cargo trousers, five T-shirts, five jackets and five shoes from Tibetan Market in Delhi. Three police uniforms from Kingsway Camp were also purchased. They then prepared fake ID cards and got a parking label sticker for entering Parliament House.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir police told UNI that one of the terrorists killed in the attack on Parliament was among the six who hijacked Indian Airlines Kathmandu-New Delhi Flight IC-814 in 1999.

Afzal identified the hijacker as Mohammad, alias Baba. Baba was the man who killed Rupin Katyal, the lone casualty in the hijacking, he revealed.



Pak wants to join probe
K.J.M. Varma

Islamabad, December 16
After promising to take action if India provided evidence about the alleged involvement of Pak-based militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba in the attack on Parliament, Islamabad now wants to be a part of the investigations into the attack.

“Pakistan is prepared for joint impartial inquiry into the attack on Indian Parliament. If any evidence is found in the inquiry about the involvement of any individual or group from Pakistan’s soil, Pakistan will initiate action in its light”, Pakistan’s defence spokesman, Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi told the BBC here yesterday.

The offer was, however, not mentioned by President Pervez Musharraf in his brief interview to the state television yesterday, wherein he promised action if India furnished evidence.

General Qureshi, meanwhile, has taken exception to the demand for the arrest of LeT leaders by Home Minister L.K. Advani.

“We want to make it clear to India that irresponsible statements or ultimatums by the Indian leadership hinting at any action on the Pakistani borders or LoC will not be acceptable to us. India must understand that it will suffer huge losses if it resorts to any such action”, he said.


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