Siddheshwar Shukla | New Delhi/Noida
R-Day functions could have been target; MEA reiterates Pak link
A day prior to the Republic Day celebrations in the Capital, the Anti- Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh Police gunned down two alleged Pakistani terrorists in Noida’s Sector 97. The encounter site is barely a couple of km away from Batla House, Okhla, where Delhi Police had shot two terrorists on September 19 for serial blasts in the Capital.
The duo, identified as Farooq and Abu Ismail and in the mid-twenties, was trying to enter Delhi from the Okhla side with the apparent objective of creating mayhem during the Republic Day celebrations.
Meanwhile, the Indian Government has said the incident underscored the persisting threat from terror groups operating from the neighbouring country.
“It once again underscored the persisting threat and the fact that there are individuals… there are organisations which are targeting India and they are based in Pakistan,” Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said here on Sunday.
Police recovered from the slain terrorists two AK-47 rifles, five hand grenades, three detonators, two polythene packs (containing around 1.5 kg of explosives, probably RDX), Rs 18,000, a passport of Farooq and an identity card of a public school in New Usmanpur in New Delhi. The card reportedly has the picture of Farooq but it was issued in the name of Samir Choudhary. Farooq was clean shaven while Ismail had a beard. They were wearing jeans, jackets and shirts.
A constable of the ATS, Vinod Kumar Singh, was injured in the gunbattle. He received bullet injuries in his knee and is recuperating in the ICU of Prayag Hospital.
Initial investigations revealed that Farooq hailed from Okara district of Punjab province in Pakistan, the home district of Ajmal Amin Kasab, the lone terrorist caught alive for the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai. Farooq, while dying, reportedly identified his companion Abu Ismail from Rawalkot in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The ATS spotted the alleged terrorists around 12.43 am on Sunday at Lal Kuan in Ghaziabad. They were driving along National Highway-24 in a white Maruti car. Unaware of the fact that policemen were chasing them in a white Gypsy, the terrorists entered Noida through NIB police post of Sector 62 and headed towards the Amity police post.
At the Amity post, the police tried to stop them but they opened firing on the cops and started speeding away. Seeing the police party following them, they took a road parallel to the Noida-Greater Noida expressway. When the terrorists reached the UNITECH plot, they left their car on the road and took firing positions. The duo was killed after a brief encounter with the ATS personnel.
“They started firing after a two-hour chase in and around Ghaziabad and Noida. Though we were on high alert due to intelligence inputs of possible terrorist attacks on Republic Day celebrations, we received information early on Sunday that two persons with arms and ammunition planned to enter Delhi through Noida from Ghaziabad. A team of ATS started following them from Lal Quan and gunned them down after a brief encounter in Noida,” said Gurbachan Lal, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Meerut zone. The weapons seized from these two terrorists indicate that they could belong to the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT), but have refused positive identification in this regard yet.
According to Lal, initial investigations revealed that the number plate was newer than the car. It was also found that the registration number of the car (U P 14 E 9531) was of a scooter in Ghaziabad. The registration number was allotted to Amit Sharma and he has been picked up by ATS for interrogation.
“We are trying to find out their point of origin and local patrons,” Lal added. Sources in UP Police said that car’s engine and chassis numbers had also been erased. Though a post-mortem examination had not been conducted till the filing of this report, sources said they had received four bullets each.
Meanwhile, four persons have been picked up from Noida and the Dadri area of Greater Noida for interrogation. “We can only say that they hail from Kashmir, but have no connection with the pre-dawn encounter in Noida. This is entirely a different case,” added Lal.
· Uttar Pradesh ATS gunned down two Pakistani terrorists, Farooq and Abu Ismail, at 2.30 am on Sunday in Sector 97, Noida
· Farooq hailed from Okara district of Punjab in Pakistan
· Farooq had a fake identity card of a public school in New Usmanpur
· Delhi Police also seeking information from Uttar Pradesh ATS to root out terrorists, if any, from the Capital
· We are doing our part of investigation but it can’t be shared with the media, says Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat
Courtsey : The Pioneer, Delhi…. 26th January,2009.
Cops on duty where the Suspected Pakis shot Dead.