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'JeM wanted to garland Rahul with grenades'

Detailed probe reveals that the militants had planned to garland the young leader with grenades before taking him hostage.

india Updated: Nov 22, 2007 21:37 IST

Garlanding of Rahul Gandhi with grenades before kidnapping him to put up their demands was the "plan" of the three Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants nabbed in Uttar Pradesh last week, interrogation of them has revealed, official sources said.

The detailed interrogation of Mohammed Abid, Yusuf and Mirza Rashid, arrested in Lucknow last week, by personnel of the central security agencies, revealed that they would have garlanded the young Gandhi with grenades before taking him hostage. They were planning to later put forward their demands of release of some of their men from Indian jails including Mohammed Afzal, condemned prisoner in 2001 Parliament attack, the sources said.

The arrest of the Jaish militants, under a well-executed operation of the central security agencies and the UP Police, also brought to light that JeM was concentrating only on hitting big targets rather than carrying out suicide attacks or triggering explosions, they said.

The JeM gained notoriety after hijacking Indian Airlines plane IC-814 in 1999, carrying out Parliament attack, killing of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl and attack on Jammu and Kashmir state assembly.

According to the plan, the three were shown videos of Rahul Gandhi during their stay in Sialkot (Pakistan) where they were also trained by Ibrahim Ather (one of the hijacker of the Indian Airlines plane) and Abdul Rauf, brother-in-law of Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar.

The task of the three militants was to recce the areas where Rahul Gandhi, MP from Amethi, used to visit and later chalk out a plan for taking him as hostage.

First Published: Nov 22, 2007 17:34 IST