IC-814 hijacker killed in Karachi
More than two decades after the infamous hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC-814, the family of victim Rupin Katyal finally got justice after hijacker Mistry Zahoor Ibrahim aka Jamali was gunned down in Karachi in Pakistan by unidentified gunmen on March 1.
With the killing of Ibrahim, only two out of five Jaish-e-Mohammed hijackers behind the incident are alive, including Ibrahim Azhar, elder brother of Masood Azhar and Rauf Asghar, the two king-pins of the globally designated terrorist group.
Rupin Katyal, 25, was brutally murdered by Zahoor Mistry on December 25, 1999 , and his body was retrieved from the hijacked plane in UAE. He and his wife were returning to Delhi after a honeymoon in Kathmandu when the plane was hijacked.
According to counter-terrorism experts, only Ibrahim Azhar and Shahid Akhtar Sayed are alive in Pakistan with the latter moving away from Karachi to the relative safety of the lawless Khyber Paktunkhwa area of Pakistan. It is understood that while one of the hijackers died due to natural causes, another was killed by Indian security forces during the December 13, 2001, attack on Parliament by the same Sunni jihadist group with Deobandi ideology.
It is understood that the funeral of Zahoor Mistry was attended by senior leaders of JeM, which is headquartered in Bahawalpur in Pakistan’s Punjab province. Masood Azhar, Omar Saeed Shekh, both then affiliated to Harkat-ul-Ansar group, and a Kashmiri terrorist Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, were released by the Indian government on December 31, 1999, in Kandahar under the watch of the then Taliban regime.
After being released, Azhar met then Taliban chief Mullah Omar and then crossed over to Pakistan via Spin Boldak crossing in Quetta.
The Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group was formed by Masood Azhar on his return to Pakistan and immediately wreaked vengeance by attacking the Srinagar secretariat in October 2001 and Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001.
He also launched a fidayeen or suicide attack on Ram Janamnbhoomi temple in 2005 but the attack was unsuccessful or else it would have caused a massive communal conflagration in UP.
It is pertinent to recall that the entire West advised military restraint to India after IC 814 hijacking and Parliament attack without sanctioning Pakistan for harbouring those responsible for these terror attacks.