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Two held for terror met Pak Army Major in Abhinandan photo during training: Delhi Police to court

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Two men arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell on terror charges identified a Pakistani army officer as one of the people they met while undergoing training in Pakistan based on a photograph shown to them of that officer with IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was in Pakistani custody for a brief period three years ago, according to a chargesheet filed in a Delhi court.

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As per the chargesheet, the Pakistani “Major” was one of nine people mentioned by the two accused, Zeeshan Qamar (28), a resident of Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, and Osama alias Sami (22), a resident of Jamia Nagar in Delhi. According to the chargesheet, both were reportedly trained by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

“They have identified one Hamza, he is from PoK and lives in Islamabad. He was the head of the training which accused Zeeshan and Osama took from one Jabbar, Rawalpindi. Hamza also told them that he was also present at the time of arrest of Wing Commander Abhinandan, who was captured at Pakistan border during retaliation of Balakot air strike. He is a Major in Pak Army,” Investigation Officer ACP Lalit Mohan Negi states in the chargesheet.

The chargesheet was submitted on February 9 of this year, and the court took cognizance of it on Monday.

Abhinandan was apprehended on the opposite side of the border on February 27, 2019, after his fighter plane was shot down during an air duel the day after the Balakot air attack. Two days later, he returned to India.

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Last year, Special CP (Special Cell) Neeraj Thakur named Qamar and Osama as two of five persons suspected of being involved in a terror plot. Apart from the two, Thakur said the Special Cell had nabbed Jaan Mohammed Sheikh (47) from Maharashtra, Moolchand alias Saaju (47) from Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, Mohd Abu Bakar (23) from Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh, and Mohd Amir Javed (31) from Lucknow in September.

“Two of the accused, Osama and Zeeshan, got training this year (2021) in Pakistan and were getting instructions from the ISI. They were asked to conduct recce of suitable locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh for planting IEDs,” Thakur had said.

According to the chargesheet, Zeeshan and Osama travelled to Oman and Pakistan, where they met a member of the Dawood Ibrahim gang.

“Accused…were interrogated regarding their visit to Muscat, Oman and Thatta, Pakistan for training of preparation of IED bombs, weapon handling, firing and different methods of arsoning. During their training, they met different persons and visited different places. They have identified and pointed out the persons and places on internet, web through open sources available on internet,” the chargesheet states.

“They have also identified one Bashir Khan, who is from Maharashtra and escaped to Pakistan after 1993 Mumbai blasts. He was part of Dawood Ibrahim gang, and during their training, he visited and motivated them for Jihad. He introduced them and informed them about his involvement in 1993 Mumbai blasts,” the chargesheet states.

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