The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday filed a chargesheet against six Jammu and Kashmir residents planning and helping to execute the blast outside the Delhi high court on September 7 last year which claimed 15 lives and left 79 people injured.
According to the chargesheet, two Pakistanis known by their code names Abu Bilal and Abu Saifullah planted the remote operated improvised explosive device (IED) at the reception area near gate number five of the high court. They have not been chargesheeted and the NIA is looking for them. The agency has sought the court’s permission to carry on investigation into their role.
The six accused chargesheeted are Wasim Akram Malik, Amir Abbas Dev, Amir Kamal, Junaid Akram Malik and Shakir Hussain Seikh and a minor. Out of them, three accused-Amir Kamal, Junaid Akram Malik and Shakir Hussian Sheikh- are absconding. The minor accused is on bail.
The chargesheet states that the conspiracy to organise a spectacular attack at the high court was hatched between June and September 2011. The objective was to threaten the judiciary to get the death sentence of Afzal Guru, an accused in the 2001 Parliament attack case, repealed. Guru’s mercy petition is pending before the President.
Terming Wasim Akram Malik a 'leaderless jehadi', investigators have alleged that he was the main conspirator. He conducted a recee of the high court in June last year. He chose gate number five as his target as there was no parking area around it and an IED attack could cause maximum fatalities. He also chose Wednesday for the blast. On Wednesdays, public interest litigations are heard in the high court and therefore the reception area is more crowded.
In the beginning of July last year he contacted the HM militants Amir Kamal and Shakir Hussain Sheikh through his younger brother Junaid Akram Malik. The chargesheet alleges that Wasim exhorted and instigated them to think ‘big’ and ‘beyond Kishtwar and Jammu and Kashmir. He told them that he didn’t believe in ‘Chillar Jehad’ (petty terror activities).
By July, Wasim was able to convince them about his plan and also of his commitment towards jehad. Wasim insisted that the action should be highlighted in the national and international media.
He also suggested using ‘non-Kashmiri looking’ boys for planting the bomb at the high court. The responsibility of arranging such 'boys' and getting an IED fabricated was taken by Amir Kamal and Shakir Hussain Sheikh.
On September 2, 2011, Wasim met with Junaid, Amir Kamal and Shakir Hussain Sheikh and two other persons on the outskirts of Kishtwar. Amir Kamal introduced the other two persons as militants from Pakistan-Abu Saifulla and Abu Bilal. The following day, Amir Kamal dropped Abu Bilal and Abu Saifullah at the house of Wasim at Dugga and they stayed during the night at his house.
On September 4, Wasim and Amir Abbas Dev dropped the duo at the Kishwar bus stand. They had to travel till Kud on the way to Jammu. Junaid was supposed to handover the brief case containing the IED to them at Kud.
Wasim took the job of sending an email to media houses claiming responsibility for the blast. For sending the email he asked his friend Amir Abbas Dev to look for a confident person with good knowledge of computer and motivate him for the action. Dev selected a minor from Kishtwar for sending the mail. Two days before the blast Wasim met Amir Abbas Dev in Kishtwar and handed him over the draft of email message to be sent to media houses.
The minor accused was instructed to keep watching news channels on September 7 and send the email a few hours after the blast.
The NIA got first clue from the email sent by the minor accused. Amir Abbas Dev was picked up, and on interrogation he led the agency to Wasim who had left for Bangladesh by then. Wasim was arrested on October 7 last year.
Second clue was the IED used in the blast. A similar kind of remote controlled IED was used in Jammu and Kashmir to attack a major general of the army. The attack was unsuccessful.
Who is Wasim Akram Malik
Wasim Akram Malik, 24, was a student of MBBS at Jalalabad Ragib-Rabeya Medical College and Hospital at Sylhet in Bangladesh. Absconding accused Junaid is his younger brother and a cadre of terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen. Their father is a government employee based in Jammu.
Wasim, while studying in Jammu in 2005 came in contact with a commander of terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and his Pakistani associates. Wasim always felt that Muslims were being discriminated all over the world. An avid internet user, he read a lot about slain al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden and Taliban leader Omar Mullah Mohammad.
He believed that Osama ‘sacrificed his lavish lifestyle for a Muslim cause’ and spent the entire life full of hardship and austerity. Wasim was also interted in knowing more about Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian doctor and current leader of al Qaeda.
Wasim identified with al Zawahiri for being a fellow doctor and eulogised his contribution towards Jihad. He also believed that jehad is a means of revolution and it could change the life of Kashmiris if it is done with dedication. He also felt affinity for Afzal Guru, being a fellow doctor.
“Wasim belongs to a new generation of jehadis, with no overt sign of being religious. He could simultaneously chat with his multiple girlfriends in one window of his computer and read about Osama bin Laden in the second,” said a source.
Questions over the probe
The probe into the Delhi high court blast has become a bone of contention between the central intelligence agencies and the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The NIA has not been able to trace three absconding accued-Junaid Akram Malik, Amir Ali Kamal and Shakir Hussain Sheikh despite investigating the matter for the last six months. It has left tongues wagging in the central intelligence agencies. The real identity of two bombers - Abu Bilal and Abu Saifullah is yet to be known, leave alone arresting them.
The skeptics in the Central Intelligence agencies also doubt that Wasim Akram Malik alone hatched the conspiracy to bomb the Delhi high court.
But the NIA officials feel that these skeptics are out of touch with the reality of Jammu and Kashmir. The new generation of jehadis in the valley is well capable of planning and executing an operation all alone.
“As far as the real identity of the bombers is concerned, only the three absconding accused can shed light on that and efforts are on to nab them. The NIA also knows the importance of arrested the absconders,” said a source.