August 2016 News

Arrested Lashkar Terrorist Prompts A Summons To Pakistan Envoy Abdul Basit

9 August 2016
The Indian Express
Shubhajit Roy and Deeptiman Tiwary

New Delhi: As India upped the ante against Pakistan Tuesday by summoning its envoy over the confessions of captured Pakistani terrorist Bahadur Ali, top sources said Ali told interrogators that he was asked to 'take advantage of the ongoing agitation in Kashmir and mix with the crowds and then throw grenades at the security forces and police'. 'Following training in Pakistan, Bahadur Ali was infiltrated into India in June. At the detachment point before the infiltration, they were repeatedly shown videos of (Lashkar-e-Toiba chief) Hafiz Saeed in which he gave taqreers on the importance of waging jihad and attaining shahadat (martyrdom),' sources told The Indian Express. Ali told his interrogators that whenever he had doubts on shahadat, he would listen to Saeed's speeches and watch videos of jihad against India. 'After infiltrating into India, Bahadur Ali continuously changed location and kept in touch with his control centre, codenamed Alpha 3, in Pakistan. Alpha 3 finally gave him a grid reference with directions to report at that location and meet a particular person,' sources said. 'Alpha 3 instructed Ali to take advantage of the ongoing agitation in Kashmir and mix with the crowds and then throw grenades at the security forces and police. Asked what purpose it would achieve, Alpha 3 replied it would help in fuelling the agitation and the situation in Kashmir would deteriorate further. A day prior to the meeting, he was arrested by the local police,' sources said. These key elements of Ali's confession prompted Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to summon Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit Tuesday afternoon and hand over a demarche. This demarche, which came after weeks of a verbal duel over the Kashmir unrest, is considered quite unusual since it is over the confession of a single terrorist. The Ministry of External Affairs identified 'Pakistani national Bahadur Ali' alias Abu Saifullah, son of Mohammad Haneef, as a resident of Jia Bagga village in Raiwind tehsil of Lahore district. Born on December 17, 1995 in Jia Bagga, Ali was arrested in Jammu & Kashmir on July 25 together with weapons (AK-47 rifle, live rounds, grenades, grenade launcher etc) and sophisticated communication equipment and other material of Pakistani-international origin. In its demarche, the Ministry of External Affairs said, 'Bahadur Ali has confessed to our authorities that after training in Lashkar-e-Toiba camps, he was infiltrated into India. He was thereafter in touch with an 'operations room' of LeT, receiving instructions to attack Indian security personnel and carry out other terrorist attacks in India.' Sources said that 'in the month of May-June 2013, Bahadur Ali formally joined the LeT and attended a training camp Daura-e-Talba for 15 days at a camp known as K-2 in Mansehra in Pakistan. One Bilal of JuD took him along with three more boys from his village and were imparted physical training and the handling of AK-47. They paid him Rs 2,000 for expenses on the way back home.' 'Ali also attended training camps at Muzaffarabad in September-October 2014 and a thirty-day training later in Camp Tabbok, also in Muzaffarabad, in May-June 2016 20 to 25 youths were participants at this training camp. Ali completed one-month training in handling of rifles, pistols, hand grenades and AK-47,' sources said. The demarche said the Indian government 'strongly protests against the continued infiltration from Pakistan of trained terrorists with instructions to carry out attacks'. This, it said, is contrary to assurances given by Pakistani leaders at the highest level. The reference, in this regard, is to assurances made by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meetings, including the surprise visit to Sharif's Raiwind residence on Christmas Day last year. The MEA said Ali, in a letter addressed to the Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi, has requested legal aid and assistance to meet his family. 'We are prepared to grant the Pakistan High Commission consular access to Bahadur Ali,' the MEA demarche said. According to sources involved in the interrogation of Ali, the Pakistani terrorist's story is very similar to that of Mohammed Naved Yaqub, the LeT terrorist arrested last year for an attack on a BSF convoy in Udhampur. Sources said like Yaqub, Ali comes from an impoverished family in Lahore. His father is a daily-wage labourer with nine children. Ali studied up to Class VIII. 'He infiltrated through the LoC in Kashmir. He has mapped his whole journey to us on Google map,' sources said, adding that Ali is currently in the custody of the National Investigation Agency.