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Arrested ISI agent played key role in hijacking of IA plane

Arrested ISI agent played key role in hijacking of IA plane

DH News Service
Deccan Heral
April 27, 2000
Title: Arrested ISI agent played key role in hijacking of IA plane
Author: DH News Service
Publication: Deccan Heral
Date: April 27, 2000

In a breakthrough, the North 24 Parganas district police here arrested an ISI agent, identified as Abdul Jalil alias Bellal Miah from a village close to Bangladesh border, on late Tuesday night.

He reportedly confessed to having helped sneak into West Bengal one of the hijackers of the ill-fated Indian Airlines flight to Kathmandu in December last.

Talking to newsmen here, the Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh, said Abdul, an illiterate Bangladeshi, who admitted to having taken three years` commando training in Kashmir, had supplied 1.6 kg of RDX to the hijackers before they hijacked the IA IC 814 flight to Kathmandu and had it force-land at Kandhahar airport in Afghanistan.

''Abdul smuggled in the RDX consignment through the Bangladesh border and it is just a sheer coincidence that he could recognise Abdul Rehman, one of the five hijackers whose photos were shown to him. This has first led us to stumble on the fact that Jalil is part of a massive network of international hijacking gang,`` Mr Singh said.

''Later, we found he knows too many things about the hijackers``, Mr Singh remarked adding that Jalil confessed to having helped Rehman sneak into Bengal through this vulnerable border point. Jalil fell into the task force dragnet after he slipped into the Indian territory. Police cordoned off the area before arresting him.

Jalil will be produced before the court at Basirhat sub-divisional judicial magistrate here tomorrow for remand to police custody. Even though interrogation of Jalil is on as some diaries in his possession revealed several phone numbers in Dhaka and Mumbai, the SP indicated that he is believed to have widespread contacts with the militant outfits in Kashmir and Assam as he had travelled in various terrorist-infested parts of Assam apart from undergoing a three-year commando training by the Pak-trained militants in the jungles of Kashmir, the SP said.

Jalil had also gone to Ludhiana and New Delhi where he met another ISI agent Abdullah who actually took him to Kashmir for commando training. But during the training, he escaped from Kashmir and returned here before taking shelter in the house of one Swarup Gazi at Deganga, about 15 km from here.

In fact, the North 24 Parganas district police had earlier issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him in August last year for smuggling and being in possession of 1.6 kg of RDX in Talbagan, a village on the Indo- Bangladesh border.

According to Mr Singh, the accused is apparently in possession of other information regarding the ISI operations which he is not keen to disclose. It is the responsibility of the Indian Government and central agencies to probe his connection with the IA hijackers.

A special team comprising sleuths from the CBI and intelligence branch is arriving at Calcutta tomorrow to interrogate Jalil alias Bellal Miah, Mr Singh confirmed.

It is likely that Jalil`s revelation to police will throw further light on the spreading ISI network in the east and northeastern part of the country apart from his links with the IA hijackers.

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