Sabauddin Ahmed, also known as Sabah and Farhan, is only 25, but has the dubious distinction of being the only Indian to have commanded Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operatives.
Police officers said the terror group entrusted him with the command in Nepal because of his intelligence. “Had he given the public service exams, he would have been a top police officer,” said a senior officer who interrogated Ahmed, a native of Madhubani in Bihar.
Tough to crack during interrogation, the wiry Sabauddin always wore a smile and appeared nonchalant through the trial.
Arrested in February 2008, Sabauddin was accused of engineering the attack on the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore in 2005 and the police camp at Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, in 2007.
His tryst with the Kalashnikov began when he started looking for his classmate Shariq Anwar in 2000 while studying at Aligarh Muslim University. He met several Lashkar operatives in India, and finally crossed the border near Surankot in Kashmir’s Poonch district.
He first learnt to assemble and dismantle an AK-47. He climbed up the Lashkar ranks and within five years was asked to handle operations in Nepal. His run ended with his arrest in 2008.
His family disowned him after that.