Azhar motivated Dev, Abid; told them they will get important task29 September 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: A top militant of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit and a motivator of many youth into militancy and sending them to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), Azhar Ali of Kishtwar was today quizzed by a two member team of the National Investigating Agency (NIA) in high security Kot Bhalwal jail in connection with September 7 blast outside Delhi High Court that killed 15 people and injured 80 others. Azhar Ali son of Ghulam Mohammad R-o Kazai Paddar, who was initially a top activist of Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami (HuJI) but had later switched over to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit before he was arrested in June 2009, was among the motivators of Hafiz Aamir Abbas Dev and Abid Hussain, two students of Kishtwar, who have been arrested by the NIA in connection with the blast and sending a terror email to media houses claiming responsibility of the blast. A two member NIA team is reported to have taken permission from the court for questioning Azhar Ali since he has been detained in high security Kot Bhalwal jail for past one and a half years under the Public Safety Act (PSA). The NIA team had yesterday taken permission from Assistant Commissioner (Revenue), Rajesh Sharavan, who was serving as Additional District Magistrate in the absence of District Magistrate Mohammad Hussain Malik, who is on leave, for questioning Asgar Ali in the jail on the ground that his detention orders under the Public Safety Act (PSA) in 2009 had been passed by the DM. Later, the NIA approached the court for permission for interrogation of Azhar Ali for two days. He was quizzed for a couple of hours and the questioning would again take place tomorrow. If required, the NIA would approach the court for 15 days remand of Azhar Ali from the court to confront him with Dev and Abid Hussain. Sources said Azhar Ali is reported to have motivated a number of local youth of erstwhile Doda district especially Kishtwar into militancy and sent many of them to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) for arms training. They added that Azhar is being quizzed to ascertain identity of the militants he had sent to PoK for arms training as some of them could either be directly involved in the blast. NIA reached Azhar Ali after they questioned Abid Hussain, the email sender from Global Cyber Café in Kishtwar and an 11th class student of Kishtwar, who told investigators about the person who had handed him over the pen drive carrying the draft of the mail that was sent to media houses after the incident on September 7 claiming responsibility of the blast on behalf of HuJI militant outfit. The NIA also detained Abid Hussain's brother from Shillong, who expressed complete ignorance about the matter. He was reported to have said that he was not aware of anti-national activities of his brother. After intensive questioning of Abid, the NIA team was told about Azhar Ali that he had been involved in recruiting youths for the Hizb terror group. Since Azhar Ali was in jail for last about one and a half years, it was highly unlikely that he could provide any lead to NIA, which has reached a dead end in probing the case, sources said. Abid is reported to have said that Azhar Ali had once told him and Dev that they would be assigned a very important task. However, after that he was arrested. The blast had rocked outside Delhi High Court claiming at least 15 lives and injuring over 50. Azhar was said to be a top terrorist of HuJI outfit involved in various militant activities including recruitment of youth. Later, he had switched over to Hizbul Mujahideen as HuJI was wiped out in Kishtwar. However, despite switching over to HM outfit, he was well versed with entire HuJI group in Kishtwar as he had been working for them for past quite some time before his arrest in 2009. According to sources, the investigating agencies believed that they could get some important clues about the militants recruited by Azhar Ali and sent to PoK as some of them might have returned after arms training and could be instrumental in Delhi High Court blast. The NIA had taken two Kishtwar youth Hafiz Aamir Ali Abbas, a BA Part-I student from Moulana Azad National University's Kishtwar Study Centre and Abid Hussain, an 11th class student of a local school to Delhi after questioning them in Kishtwar for about a week. While Dev has been charged with involvement in the blast, Abid had sent the mail after the blast claiming its responsibility. Abid had sent an email from Global Cyber Café in Kishtwar town on September 7 to two media houses in New Delhi claiming responsibility for the blast. He had generated an email account email@example.com and sent the mail, which read as 'we own responsibility of the blast at the High Court, Delhi. Our demand is that Afzal Guru's death sentence should be repealed immediately as we would target major High Courts and the Supreme Court of India'. Afzal Guru is on death row in Parliament attack case. The Union Home Ministry had written to President Pratibha Patil recently for rejecting mercy petition of Afzal Guru, who hailed from Kashmir.