Pakistanis who funded Kandahar hijack to be deported tomorrow
Two Pakistanis, who served eight year in prison for aiding a bank robbery to fund the 1999 Kandahar hijack of an Indian Airlines flight, will finally be deported tomorrow, two-and-a-half-years after being set free.mumbai Updated: Aug 17, 2010 19:14 IST
Two Pakistanis, who served eight year in prison for aiding a bank robbery to fund the 1999 Kandahar hijack of an Indian Airlines flight, will finally be deported tomorrow, two-and-a-half-years after being set free.
Haji Iqbal and Mohammed Asif could not be sent back to Pakistan earlier because of delay in completing the complex formalities.
The duo was taken to Wagah border by a police team from Mumbai last Thursday and would be deported to Pakistan on Wednesday after completing the formalities, police sources said today.
After their release from Nashik Jail in February 2008, Iqbal and Asif were staying at Borivli police station as they were not be allowed to live at a place of their choice given their record and the pending deportation exercise.
The Bombay High Court had ordered their deportation in 2008, but delays by the Pakistani High Commission in completing the formalities led to their prolonged stay at the police station, Senior Police Inspector at Borivli Bhagwan Chate said.
"After procuring a government order, a police team accompanying the duo left the city for Amritsar on August 12 and they have now reached Wagah border from where both would be deported to Pakistan tomorrow," he said.
According to police, Iqbal and Asif were convicted of looting a bank in Borivli and transferring the funds to the masterminds of the hijack.
The Crime Branch had arrested them with three others on the basis of telephone intercepts involving one of the accused and the hijackers.
During their questioning, it was discovered that the two had helped three others to rob Rs 7.35 lakh from Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank branch in Borivli, Chate said.
Iqbal and Asif had been sentenced to eight years' imprisonment after they pleaded guilty before the court last year. However, since they had already served the sentence during the trial, they were ordered to be released and deported to Pakistan.
Indian Airlines' flight IC 814 to Delhi from Kathmandu with 174 passengers and 11 crew was hijacked by Pakistani militants on December 24, 1999 and taken to Kandahar.
The hostage drama had lasted for seven days and ended with the release of three militants including Maulana Masood Azhar, founder of Jaish-e-Mohammed.