March 2003 News

Former Hurriyat chief shelters Pak terrorists: Report

8 March 2003
The Hindustan Times
Sumir Kaul (PTI)

Sumir Kaul (PTI)New Delhi: The government has taken a serious note of a confessional statement of a Pakistani terrorist of Al-Badar organisation that he had been hiding in the residential house of a former Hurriyat Conference chairman after being hit by a bullet. The terrorist Mohammed Asgar alias Showkat Khan, a resident of Multan in Pakistan, had revealed during his interrogation that he had received a bullet injury during an encounter at Bandipore,  official sources said. They said Khan, after receiving the first-aid was shifted to a hospital in Srinagar under a different name. However, unable to recover completely and with the fear of getting arrested looming large, he was taken by Syed Ahmed Talah,  divisional commander of Al-Badar, to the residence of former Hurriyat chairman. Talah held talks with the close associate of the former Hurriyat chairman after which Khan stayed at his residence for a fortnight during which the close aides of the former conglomerate chief provided him with medicines and dressed his wounds. The terrorist revealed that during his stay he also came to know that Hafeez Ahsan Ali, the then chief commander of Al-Badar was also staying at his residence, they said. The sources said that there were some intelligence inputs earlier suggesting that Hurriyat Conference leaders were providing shelter to terrorists but this was the first case where a terrorist had revealed it.  The sources said that Khan after staying at the residence of the former Hurriyat chairman was shifted to the Anchar lake area of Srinagar. Later, after Khan expressed his desire to go back to Pakistan, he was taken to Jammu with the help of a local contact from where he shifted to Kolkata, the sources said and added that he was to cross over to Bangladesh before going to Islamabad. However, he ran short of luck and was arrested from the metropolis. Khan revealed that he was a worker at a bakery at Multan and was lured into militancy by ISI operatives in the region on promise of 'handsome money', the sources said. He received training at Mansehra office of the Al-Badar. Meanwhile, efforts to seek reaction from Hurriyat could not fructify as no one was available for comments.


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