The Indian government may face hurdles in extraditing Shamshul Hoda, suspected handler of Pakistan spy agency ISI, from Nepal due to certain clauses in the treaty between the two countries.
A senior police officer, on the condition of anonymity, said non-mention of terror activities in the extradition treaty signed with Nepal in 1963 was the first major hurdle.
Under the treaty, extradition shall not take place if the person, whose extradition is sought by one of the governments, has already been tried and discharged or punished, or is still under trial in the territory of the other for the crime for which the extradition is demanded.
Hoda has been arrested in a case involving the murder of Arun Ram and Dipak Ram —linked to an attempt to blast a railway track at Ghorasahan in Bihar’s East Champaran district in October 2016 — as well as the train derailment in Kanpur on November 21, 2016, which claimed 148 lives.
Sources said there was a legal complication, even though Hoda was under scanner of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), probing the Kanpur train derailment and Ghorasahan incident.
“Hoda’s arrest in Nepal in the twin murder case has complicated matters further as Article 7 of the treaty specifies that the extradition the person facing trial in any crime may be deferred until the conclusion of the trial. This clause may be used by the suspected ISI agent to escape extradition,” said the officer.
The Indian investigating agencies claimed Hoda’s arrest would help in unravelling three recent cases: The failed attempt to detonate IED on railway tracks in East Champaran as well as suspected sabotage angle behind dearailment of Indore-Patna Express and Kuneru-Hirakhand Express.
Nepal police clarified that Hoda had been arrested for the twin murder in Bara district of Himalayan nation. Nepal police were closely working with their Indian counterparts to find any link of the accused with the ISI, especially in connection with terror related incidents.
Hoda is believed to have stayed in Malaysia from 2001 to 2013 and in UAE for one-and-a-half years. “While staying in Dubai, Hoda managed to establish connection with criminals of several countries, including UAE, Pakistan, Malaysia, India and Nepal,” said the officer.
Bara superintendent of police Narendra Prashad Upreti said Hoda had mobilised his aides Brij Kishor Giri alias Baba to blast Raxaul-Sitamarhi track near Ghorasahan. “The attempt failed although the instruction was to cause big damages,” he added.
He said that the first arrest in the case was of Mojahir Ansari of Kalaiya in Bara. That made it easier for police to nab others working under instructions from Hoda. “Our investigation has shown that Hoda is the mastermind behind the twin murder. After we found the bodies of Arun and Dipak in a jungle, we suspected the case to be sensitive and prioritised the investigation,” Upreti added.
Meanwhile, NIA sources said Hoda had links with three accused earlier arrested by intelligence agencies from East Champaran.