The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Gazi Baba echo in Delhi encounter

New Delhi, Aug. 31: The links of Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Jammu and Kashmir operations commander Gazi Baba have surfaced in Delhi.

Two militants who were shot dead here in an encounter yesterday and five others arrested from Delhi and western Uttar Pradesh have thrown up the Jaish trail.

Noor Mohammed Tantray, one of the five alleged Jaish militants arrested, disclosed he was taking orders from Rashid, who in turn was under Baba’s command. The Border Security Force had said Baba was killed in an encounter yesterday in Srinagar.

In a release issued during a press conference today, the Delhi police special cell said: “Noor Mohammed also disclosed that he is in touch with a Jaish militant namely Rashid from whom he takes his order. Rashid has been taking orders from Gazi Baba.”

According to the release, Noor further said that both Rashid and Baba were operating from the higher reaches of the hills above Tral in Kashmir. Joint commissioner of Delhi police (special cell) Neeraj Kumar said Noor had denied meeting Baba. Rashid’s real identity is not yet known.

The special cell followed the Jaish trail after central agencies told it that Delhi was likely to receive arms, ammunition and explosives from Jammu and Kashmir in a truck with 153 as the last digits of its registration number.

Over two days later, the special cell said they spotted a truck (JK-03-0153) at the Qutab Road parking lot in the Sadar Bazar locality of Old Delhi yesterday.

According to Kumar, the three persons who were rounded up from the truck identified themselves as Parvez Ahmed, the driver, Farooq Ahmed alias Farooq, the cleaner, and Noor Mohammed Tantray alias Gulzar Ahmed. All three were from Pulwana in Jammu and Kashmir.

The police found three fruit boxes in the truck, one of which contained 10 each of hand-grenades and under barrel grenade launcher shells and a launcher.

On the trio’s tip-off, sleuths laid a trap at Millennium Park, near Nizamuddin Bridge leading to Patparganj locality of East Delhi, and gunned down two militants when they tried to flee after alighting from a Maruti car (DL-3CN-8749), the police said.

Noor identified those killed as Habibullah and Zahoor Ahmed, a Pakistani. Two .30 Chinese pistols with two magazines, an AK-56 rifle and Rs 2 lakh in cash were recovered from them.

According to the police, Noor said Zahoor’s real name was Mohammed Mumtaz Shahid, from Khushab district of Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Kumar said the militants were here to launch “some spectacular strike” but their target was yet to be ascertained.

As a follow-up, Delhi police, this morning, raided the Qaziwara locality of Sikandrabad in western Uttar Pradesh and arrested Noor’s brothers, Raees and Atiq. Both are said to be Pakistan-trained Jaish members. Delhi police are now investigating Atiq’s Maharashtra links as he has a house on Meera Bhayender Road in Mumbai.

A large quantity of explosives, including three remote-controlled bombs and 23 electronic detonators, and Rs 85,000 in cash were recovered from the duo, Kumar said.

The five arrested militants have been booked under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the Explosives Act and the Indian Penal Code, he added.

Delhi police also searched Noor’s hideout at A-44 Mohindra Park in north-west Delhi’s Azadpur. Kumar said a computer, attached with printer, scanner and other gadgets — that Noor said he was to take to the Jaish’s headquarters in the Valley — found there showed the Jaish was going high-tech.

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