Man behind IC-814 hijack held in J&K

0
136

September 13, 2012

Mehraj-ud-din Dand was arrested along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway Wednesday night. It is believed he was involved in the 1999 Kandahar plane highjacking, in which five Pakistani militants boarded the plane and held the passengers hostage for over a week.

September 13, 2012

Mehraj-ud-din Dand was arrested along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway Wednesday night. It is believed he was involved in the 1999 Kandahar plane highjacking, in which five Pakistani militants boarded the plane and held the passengers hostage for over a week.

In this picture taken December 27, 1999, a Taliban security official receives a paper on which the hijackers of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 have put their demands at Kandahar Airport.

Top militant commander Mehraj-ud-din Dand, wanted for his involvement in the 1999 hijacking of flight IC-814 to Kandahar and other terror attacks, has been arrested from an undisclosed location on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, a senior police official said Thursday.

Mehraj-ud-din was arrested Wendesnday night in what is described as a major catch. He is suspected to have been involved in terrorist activity in India and abroad and is among the oldest surviving militants.

Mehraj-ud-din was nabbed after police learned he was returning from Nepal and on his way to Kashmir valley from the national highway connecting Jammu and Srinagar.

"We nabbed him at a location we cannot disclose at yet," the official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

It is believed that he was going to Kashmir as militancy is declining there.

"His arrest is a severe blow to militancy and efforts to revive it," a police official said.

Mehraj-ud-din, who belongs to the north Kashmir town of Sopore, began militant activity in 1990.

"He participated in action and wielded gun up to 1995 after which he joined elite ranks, which involved planning, arranging logistics and handling militant activities," the official said.

After 1995, he was mostly operating from Pakistan and Nepal. Police describe him as the most-wanted and oldest militant, "involved in a number of militancy related activities both in India and outside.”

"Mehraj-ud-din was main person who arranged the logistics for carrying out the Kandahar hijacking. He facilitated the entry of five masked men into the aircraft with guns, knives and grenades and arranged finances for all this," an official said.

Mehrajud-din was taking care of planning and finances.

"He was like the top boss giving directions and arranging logistics."

On Dec 24, 1999, IC-814, with 176 passengers on board, was hijacked by five Pakistani militants and forced to land in three different airports – Amritsar, Lahore, and Dubai – before being taken to Kandahar, the bastion of the Taliban regime in

Afghanistan. One of the passengers, Rupin Katyal, was fatally stabbed by the hijackers in Dubai.

The aircraft spent a week on the tarmac in Kandahar before terrorists were swapped for the hostages.


Courtesy: Daily News

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here