IC-814 hijack: Mehrajuddin paid Rs 20 lakh to help terrorists | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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IC-814 hijack: Mehrajuddin paid Rs 20 lakh to help terrorists

chandigarh Updated: Sep 15, 2012 12:51 IST
Tarun Upadhyay

Meharjuddin Dand, suspected to be involved in hijacking of an Indian Airlines aircraft in 1999, reportedly received Rs 20 lakh from an official of the Pakistani embassy in Nepal to provide logistics and facilitate the entry of terrorists at the Kathmandu's Tribhuvan airport.

Though police haven't officially revealed the identity of the foreign diplomat, as per sources, the diplomat was Arshad Cheema, who was working as first secretary in the Pakistani embassy in Kathmandu. He was expelled from Nepal in 2001 after authorities found 16-kg RDX from him.

"The foreign diplomat had developed network with airport authorities and was using it for carrying out the task," said a police officer, wishing not to be named. As per sources, Mehrajuddin and the diplomat were assigned the task of ensuring the terrorists a secure passage to the airport and also in providing logistics to them.

"Mehrajuddin admitted to receiving Rs 20 lakh and RDX after the hijacking. He and the official left Nepal immediately thereafter," said the officer.

As Meharajuddin had earlier helped in the Lajpat Nagar blast in 1996, it was for this reason he was sent to Nepal by the ISI where he stayed as a Pakistani resident.

According to the sources, in 1993, Mehrajuddin crossed over to PoK for arms training. He was picked by ISI agents and sent to Delhi on fake Pakistani passport in 1995. He helped in executing Lajpat Nagar blast in 1996.

He also worked for dreaded Dawood's gang and would distribute money to carry out assignments on the directions from across the border.

"He had given about Rs 1 lakh each to five terrorists who had carried out the blast in which 13 people were killed," said the officer.

The six suspects had figured in the Lajpat Nagar blast, including the two Pakistan nationals and Meharjuddin, who shifted his base to New Delhi quite often.

Meharjuddin never revealed his true identity as a resident of Sopore in Kashmir. The Indian authorities had released Masood Azhar Alvi, along with Syed Umar Sheikh and Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar, in return for the safety of passengers. Rupin Katyal, a passenger, was executed by the terrorists.