Jaish chief stayed in Ashok & Janpath hotels in Delhi in 1994


New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) Details emerging from Pulwama mastermind Maulana Masood Azhar’s interrogation report — when he was in Indian captivity for five years — reveal that like 26/11 perpetrator David Coleman Headley, he too roamed around India without any fear. On exiting IGI, like Headley, he too was driven to the Ashok Hotel slapbang in the middle of LBZ and the heart of India’s diplomatic community (Headley had stayed at the Mumbai Taj and got GPS coordinates for all the locations for 26/11).

The Jaish supremo arrived in India on a Portuguese passport in 1994. Over the next 15 days, he stayed at Hotel Janpath, then Karol Bagh and visited Darul-uloom Deoband in Saharanpur and Lucknow.

Masood Azhar arrived from Dhaka, and when questioned by immigration that he didn’t look like a Portuguese referring to his passport, he claimed he was a Gujarati by birth. The report says: “I spent two days in Dhaka and thereafter travelled to Delhi by Bangladesh Airlines (Biman), reaching the IGI Airport in early hours of January 29, 1994. The immigration officials at IGI commented that I did not look like a Portuguese but when I replied that I was a Gujarati by birth, he did not hesitate to stamp my passport. I hired a taxi and asked (the driver) for a good hotel. I was taken to the Ashok Hotel in Chanakyapuri where I stayed.”

At Saharanpur, Azhar reportedly stayed for the night at a mosque of Tabligh-ul-Jamat and he did not reveal his true identity. On January 31, 1994, he returned to Delhi by the same car after staying overnight at Khan Ji of Maulana Masir-ul-ullah Khan at Jalalabad. This time he stayed at Hotel Janpath located near Connaught Place.

He flew onwards to Srinagar on February 9, but before that, decided to visit Maulana Abu Hassan Nadvi alias Ali Mian in Lucknow. Unable to make his tryst with this person, he returned once again to Delhi but stayed at Hotel Sheesh Mahal in Karol Bagh.

In all Delhi hotels, Azhar registered himself in the assumed identity of Portuguese national Vali Adam Issa. “In Delhi, on February 8, 1994, I visited the Centre of Tabligh-ul-Jamat at Nizamuddin, but did not meet any particular person. I had also purchased 12 compasses (to give direction of Mecca) from Nizammudin to offer them as gift to militants in the Kashmir valley,” he revealed to interrogators.

On February 10, he was taken to a place called Matigund where all Pakistan/PoK terrorists congregated. “They (the terrorists) were happy about my visit and merger of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami. I had taken their addresses and letters so that I can communicate their welfare to their families on return to Pakistan,” he told the interrogators.

While returning from Matigund, accompanied by Afghani and another person who was armed and had a wireless set, the car developed a snag and stopped. Then Azhar and his accomplice boarded a three-wheeler and proceeded to Anantnag. After travelling for about 2-3 km, the autorickshaw was stopped by Army personnel which led to an exchange of fire.

“Farooq started running and opened fire which was returned by the Army men. Farooq managed to escape but I along with Afghani was arrested,” he told his questioners.

He was housed at the Kot Bhalwal Central Jail in Jammu.

For the infamous IC-814 exchange, the dreaded Azhar was freed from Indian captivity in 1999 along with two other terrorists. Since then, he has made it his business to target India, he was the brains behind the December 13, 2001 Parliament attack.

Both Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh were asked to give plan for securing the Singapore-based arbitration tribunal’s award asking them to pay it Rs 3,500 crore in a dispute relating to Japanese drug maker Daiichi Sankyo’s acquisition of their family pharma company Ranbaxy.

Telling the two brothers, who are otherwise at loggerheads, to unite on the issue and give a plan for securing the award, the bench reminded them of their legacy of being the flag-bearer of the health sector and asked them to honour the award.

Both Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh were present in the court in pursuance to March 14 order of the court directing their presence. The court asked them to remain present in the court on March 28, the next date of hearing.

Reminding Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh of their obligation to secure the award, the court told them: “Once the award is passed, you have to honour it (award). It (not doing so) does no good to the country. You were once the flag-bearer of the country in health sector. Pay your debts and come out of it.”

Daiichi Sankyo has moved the top court contending that the two brothers have sold their stakes in Fortis Health Care to Malaysia’s IHH Health and were also liquidating their other assets to escape the liability to pay Rs 3,500 crore arbitration award to Daiichi.

“How do you intend to pay in the event of an order upholding the arbitration award?” the court asked Malvinder Singh, telling him that his brother has “renounced” the world and had “nothing to do with it”.

Finding Malvinder Singh not forthcoming with the response, CJI Gogoi told him: “If you are not prepared to answer, don’t answer, because all that you say will be recorded.”

The court told Singh brothers that they can take time to “reflect, look into their accounts and seek legal advice. Then court then adjourned the hearing till March 28.

Directing the next hearing on March 28, CJI Gogoi said, “This is first time you are coming to court. Let the next appearance be the last one.”

As Court asked which date they would like to come prepared with the plan to secure the award, senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for Malvinder Singh, said since Nariman is senior-most, let him suggest the next date.

“Thankfully, I am only the senior-most and not the debtor,” Nariman said amid laughter.

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