Delhi HC Blast: Hizb's 'doctor', Showkat's Assassins Quizzed By NIA

Delhi HC Blast: Hizb's 'doctor', Showkat's Assassins Quizzed By NIA

22 January 2012
DNA
Sumir Kaul

Srinagar: Dreaded Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant 'Doctor' and alleged assassins of Kashmiri leader Maulana Showkat have been questioned by NIA in connection with September 7 Delhi High Court blast to unravel how an advanced three-cell remote used in the attack had been smuggled from J&K to Delhi. An examination of the circuit used in blast that left 15 people dead and scores others injured showed that terrorists had used a three-battery remote for triggering the explosion. Hizb-ul-Mujahideen's operations chief Mohammad Shafi alias Dawood alias Doctor, who was arrested from outskirts of the city in mid-October last, was questioned at length by National Investigating Agency (NIA) sleuths and central security agencies about the smuggling of remotes. A resident of north Kashmir's Bandipora, Shafi had earned the alias of a Doctor as he was a pharmacist before joining the terror group. He was the leader of the group which carried the three-cell remote consignment from Uri in north Kashmir after they were smuggled from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) through LoC trade. His arrest came after Jammu and Kashmir police prevented an IED from exploding in Sangrama in Sopore of North Kashmir. Militants were using a three-battery remote to detonate the IED. Their questioning led to 'Doctor' who was arrested in a surgically planned operation by the police. The three-battery remote has more range then earlier used by the terrorists as the technology used here gives them some lead time to facilitate an easy escape from the scene of crime. However, sources privy to the probe said the questioning of Doctor could not yeild much other than the fact that smuggling of arms along the LoC trade was a routine affair which went undetected because of lack of proper scanning facility. The NIA team also questioned six accused chargesheeted in the assassination of Maulana Showkat after seeking requisite permission from the court. The six - Javed Ahmad Munshi alias Bill Papa, Nisar Ahmad Khan alias Ishaq, Abdul Ghani Dar alias Ghazzali, Abdul Majid Dar al Madni, Gulzar A Khan and Reyaz Ahmad Shah - were also quizzed to know from where did they assemble the bomb for killing of Maulana Showkat in April last year. The statements of all the six were recorded, the sources said. The three-battery remote has been used earlier by terroriststhrice last year - Sangrama in Sopore of North Kashmir, Udhampur in May during an unsuccessful attempt on the life of an Army officer and assassination of Jamiat-e-Ahl-e-Hadees head Maluana Showkat Ahmad Shah in April. Meanwhile, a massive search operation was underway in the higher reaches of Kishtwar for Junaid Akram Malik, wanted in the Delhi High court blast case. NIA has already announced a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh for information leading to the arrest of Junaid. Junaid's brother Wasim Akram, a medical student studying MBBS in a college at Bangladesh, is at present in judicial custody.