Hafiz Saeed, the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a Pakistan-based front organisation for terror group Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, figures as a ‘wanted’ in the chargesheet against the 21 accused Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives that will be filed by the Crime Branch on Tuesday.
Highly placed sources in the Crime Branch told Hindustan Times on Monday that Saeed, who is also wanted in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, was instrumental in raising, training, guiding and even selecting targets in India for the IM cadres, who are all Indians.
Saeed’s name in the IM wanted list would nevertheless come as a further embarrassment to the Pakistan government in view of the fact that it has so far been unable to arrest him for his complicity in the 26/11 attack, even after the Mumbai police sent evidence of his involvement in the attack a month ago.
Saeed has emerged as the common link in both the cases.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria, who refused to disclose the names of the people who figures in the list of wanted accused in the IM chargesheet, however, confirmed that it included some of the “key” LeT operatives.
“Whosoever is involved, we will take their names,” Maria said when asked if any of the Lashkar operatives wanted in the 26/11 attack also figures in the wanted list in the IM chargesheet.
He added that as many as seven people, including the co-founder of IM, Riyaz Bhatkal and his brother Iqbal, were among those shown as wanted in the chargesheet that runs for over a thousand pages.
As per police findings, Amir Raza, an Indian, and Azam Cheema, a Pakistani, founded IM as the Lashkar’s Indian operation wing. Both Cheema and Raza used to take instructions from Saeed. The Mumbai attackers, all Pakistanis, had been chosen and trained by Lashkar commanders Zaki-Ur Rehman Lakhvi and Abu Humza, who also functioned under Saeed.