LUCKNOW: Top terror outfits like the ones behind the 1999 Kandhar hijack had planted a mole at the state intelligence headquarters in Lucknow. If
you find this piece of news shocking, then here is worse: Despite having established presence of the mole 12 years ago, security agencies have not only failed to track him down, but have also called off the hunt now.
This, when the mole in question tried to orchestrate the escape of a dreaded Pakistani terrorist Nasrullah Mansoor — lodged in Tihar jail. He actually faxed confidential message from the state intelligence headquarters to the police in Mathura on January 14, 1997. The directives were to seek custody of Nasrullah against warrant B issued supposedly by the court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM), Mathura, RC Sharma on December 16, 1996.
The warrant B in question was later found to be a forged one and a case was registered in this regard with the Kotwali Sadar police of Mathura against crime number 22/1997 on January 18, 1997. Investigations into the forged warrant not only indicated that it was a part of a well-orchestrated move of Nasurllah’s aides to help him escape from custody while being brought to Mathura from Tihar jail. The probe also confirmed that fax message purportedly sent from the state intelligence headquarters as a covering letter for the forged warrant, was not sent by any of the officials concerned.
Listed as one of the founders and military head of Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami (HuJI) Nasrullah happens to be a close aide of Maulana Azahar Masood and had been nabbed in an army crackdown in Ashmuqam area of South Kashmir on November 16, 1993, barely three months before Azhar Masood’s arrest on February 11, 1994. Having fought the war in Afghanistan from 1983 to 1992, this native of Jalalpur in Gujrat (Pakistan) was one of the top military brains of Harkat-Ul-Mujahideen (HuM) till it was banned by US. Subsequently, Nasrullah formed HuJI.
His importance for the terror outfits can be gauged from the fact that his name figured in the final list of five militants whose release was sought by the Kandhar hijackers in 1999. The Indian agencies though agreed to hand over Azhar Masood, they refused to let go Nasrullah and a close aide of his after which Azhar and two others were released. Such is the stature of the now 50-something lanky Nasrullah Mansoor Langriyal that he has been shifted to more than a dozen high security prisons across the country on security reasons.
Six Pak nationals arrested off Jakhau coast
Police eye Pak dossier as evidence to nail Fahim
The Mumbai Police want to use Pakistan’s dossier on its internal probe into the 26/11 attack, submitted to India, as evidence in their case against alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba operative Fahim Ansari.
The dossier has become vital in establishing the prosecution’s case that Ansari had travelled to Pakistan using a bogus Pakistani passport, Crime Branch sources told Newsline.
To establish the dossier as authentic evidence, the police have two options: approach a representative of the Pakistan Embassy in New Delhi to depose as witness, or urge a representative of the Ministry of External Affairs depose on the source of the document.
Sources said the former option was impractical as Pakistani officials would be unwilling to depose in an Indian court, and even if they did, it could serve as a precedent for a request from Pakistan to return the gesture in future.
On September 25, the special court trying the case had refused to take on record a certified copy of an alleged Pakistani passport recovered from Ansari. This was after Ashok Kumar Raghav, an officer with the UP Special Task Force, had produced copies of the passport and other documents, and was cross-examined by Ansari’s lawyer Shahid Ansari.
The court said there was no proof that the passport was issued by the Pakistan government. “It’s mere presumption that the passport has been issued by the Pakistani authorities,” Special Judge ML Taheliyani had said.
The Crime Branch’s eagerness to place the dossier before the court stems from the fact that the dossier says that Mumbai resident Ansari travelled to Pakistan in late 2007 using bogus documents, as alleged by the Mumbai Police.
An update of the action taken by Pakistan against those named as fugitives by India, the dossier mentions that Ansari entered Pakistan in November 2007 under the name Hamad Hassan using a bogus Pakistani passport with the number BM-680-9341. Ansari “obtained the passport through misdeclaration of facts”, it says without elaborating.
Pakistani investigators cross-checked these facts with their passport office, as well as with airport entry records, according to the dossier. However, the dossier is silent on the crucial charge that the alleged maps and videos made by Ansari were handed over to Lashkar handlers in Pakistan who used them to plot and execute 26/11.