Published : Jan 08, 2000 00:00 IST

When the hijackers of the Indian Airlines flight IC 814 demanded the release of 36 top terrorists, 33 of them Pakistanis, from Indian jails, acceptance of the demand would have amounted to nullifying the successes registered by Indian security and int elligence agencies in the past one decade in their anti-insurgency operations in Kashmir and putting national security at peril. Here, Praveen Swami gives brief profiles of the 36, including those released whose names have been highlighted.
The terrorists the hijackers wanted out of jail
NameOrganisationArrested onProfile
1Abdul Hai Malik @ Umar Farooq s/o Mohammad Ajmal r/o Punjab, PakistanHarkat-ul-AnsarNovember 18, 1996After joining the Harkat-ul-Ansar at the instigation of religious leader Maulvi Attah Ullah, Malik was infiltrated through Kupwara in July 1996. He was tasked to disrupt the elections of September-October 1996. He is also charged with the attempted murder of a resident of Maisuma in downtown Srinagar.
2Ahmed Umar SyedSheikh s/o Syed Ahmed Sheikhr/o London, U.K. Harkat-ul-AnsarOctober 31, 1994A British national, Ahmed Sheikh played a major role in raising funds and organising support for the Harkat-ul-Ansar in the United Kingdom. In October 1994, he organised the kidnapping of four foreign tourists from a hotel in Paharganj, New Delhi, to secure Masood Azhar's release. All the hostages were subsequently rescued from Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, in a joint operation by Delhi and U.P. police commandos. One U.P. police official, Inspector Abhay Singh Yadav, was killed in the operation. Two other terrorists, British national Sheikh Omar Sayeed and Pakistani national Abdul Rahim, were arrested.
3Alam Khans/o Behram Khanr/o Muzaffarabad, POKAl-UmarNovember 20, 1991Although Khan was a trained terrorist, his services were used mainly as a courier and guide for arms shipments by Al-Umar, an organisation close to Pakistan's Sardar Abdul Qayoom Khan and named after Srinagar religious leader Moulvi Umar Farooq. He was picked up by the Army in Kupwara.
4Basharat Ali @ Assadullah Ikramullah s/o Ali Asga r/o Mirpur, POKKashmir Freedom MovementJanuary 2, 1995Trained at Mirpur in POK, Ali was briefed by Pakistan Army officials before entering India in August 1994. He visited several parts of the country, including New Delhi and Muzaffarnagar, to build his organisation's network.
5Farooq Ahmed Raja s/o Mohammad Sher Khanr/o Kotli, POKJammu Kashmir Liberation FrontApril 19, 1995Having joined the JKLF in June 1992, and trained in Afghanistan, Raja entered the Kashmir Valley through Kupwara in August 1994. He was subsequently kidnapped in the course of a dispute with the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and disarmed. He stayed with Yasin Malik at the JKLF's overground office in Maisuma, Srinagar, before his arrest in a covert operation.
6Ghulam Mohammad Bhat s/o Hatta Bhatr/o POKAl-JehadDecember 20, 1994Indian records list Bhat's name as Gulla Bhat. He was principally an ideological worker for Al-Jehad, motivating and indoctrinating recruits.
7Jaffer Alis/o Sabir Alir/o Kotli POKAl-BarqJune 30, 1996Indian records list Jaffer Ali's name as Zaffar Ali, code-named Abdul Rashid. Ali was motivated by his uncle, Khazir Mohammad, who worked as a cook in an Al Barq training camp. He is described as highly motivated, and deeply religious.
8MaulanaMasood Azhar ,s/o Allah Baksh,r/o Kauser Colony, Model Town, Bhawalpur, Pakistan Harkat-ul-AnsarFebruary 11, 1994A religious evangelist of the Deobandi school, Azhar recieved military training in Afghanistan before arriving in India via Dhaka on January 29, 1994. Travelling on a fake Portugese passport and claiming to be a journalist, he toured the country, exhorting Muslims in several areas to participate in jihad. As Secretary-General of the Harkat-ul-Ansar, he was responsible for motivating Sajjad Afghani to lead its military operations in Kashmir.
9Mohammad Arif Khan @ Walid @ Rashid Ahmed Bhats/o Alam Din Khan r/o Dastgir Mohalla, Karachi, PakistanHarkat-ul-AnsarMay 4, 1995Trained at the Harkat-ul-Ansar camp at Maskar in Afghanistan, Khan was inducted into the Kashmir Valley in May 1994 through the Lolab area. He participated in several armed actions in 1994-1995. However, evidently disenchanted with the war in Kashmir, he applied to his commanders for permission to return to Pakistan. The request was met. Khan was arrested by the West Bengal Police while trying to cross into Bangladesh from where he was scheduled to fly to Pakistan.
10Mohammad HassanShafiq @ Abu Jindal s/o late Imdad Ullah, r/o Chinant Jhena, PakistanHarkat-ul-AnsarMay 12, 1995Although the hijackers identified Abu Jindal as Mohammad Hassan Shafia, police records list his name as Mohammad Shafi Malik. Malik was present at Chrar-e-Sharif when the shrine burned down in 1995, and it was his interrogation which made clear that Mast Gul had ordered its destruction. The terrorist was trained at Khost, Afghanistan. He holds a post-graduate degree in Arabic.
11Mohammad Iqram Balouchs/o Mir Dalal Kha r/o Quetta, Baluchistan, PakistanHizb-ul-MujahideenOctober 1, 1995 Balouch was active on the border from 1990, mostly smuggling arms from Pakistan and Afghanistan. He was once arrested by the Pakistan Police for gun-running. Trained in Afghanistan, he was persuaded to join the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen by the Jamaat-e-Islami in Peshawar. His official dossier describes him as "desperate by nature", a person who can "stoop to any level".
12Mohammad Ishfaq Rajputs/o Mohammad Shafi, r/o Sialkot, PakistanMuslim MujahideenJanuary 2, 1995Rajput entered the Fateh Gali in Baramulla with a large consignment of arms and explosives, but for reasons that did not emerge during interrogation, he immediately wished to return to Pakistan. Rajput was deserted by his companions, and was found wandering aimlessly in the forests.
13Mohammad Nazir Khan @ Salahuddin Saifullah s/o Hajlal Khan, r/o B-79 Block F, Qausar Niyazi Colony, Karachi, PakistanNot availableNotavailableKhan was arrested by the Delhi Police for involvement in a planned series of bomb blasts in the city. A Karachi resident, he is believed to be affiliated to far-right groups in that city. He is now being held in Tihar Jail.
14Mohammad Sofi Jamat s/o Buland Khanr/o Kotli, POKAl-Barq/JKLFFebruary 17, 1996Although the terrorists gave Jamat's place of residence as Kotli, official records list it as being Kel in POK. A plumber by profession, and a long-time activist of the Jamait-ul-Tulbam, Jamat was recruited by the Inter-Services Intelligence and sent into the Kashmir Valley in September 1994.
15"Mohammad Yusuf Khwaja @ Asif s/o Mohammad Ayub r/o Nakoti Wadi-e-Lippa, Muzaffarabad, POKHarkat-ul-AnsarAugust 31, 1996Khwaja was among the Harkat-ul-Ansar's top arms couriers, handling shipments of weapons into the Kashmir Valley.
16Mohammed Syed Khan @ Farooq,s/o Mohammad Suleiman r/o Noman Pora Bagh, POKJamait-ul-MujahideenAugust 21, 1994 Trained at the Yawar training camp in Afghanistan, Khan served principally in the Kupwara area. His tenure was marked by feuds between his unit at the local, mainly Kashmiri, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. The Hizb-ul-Mujahideen attempted to assassinate him on three occassions.
17Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar @ Latram s/o Ghulam Rasool Zargar, r/o Jamia Masjid, Srinagar. Al-UmarMay 15, 1992A coppersmith by trade before he trained in Pakistan, Zargar continues to be the head of the Al-Umar. Zargar is responsible for over 40 murders and was a key figure in the terrorist ascendancy in downtown Srinagar. The Al-Umar chief also imposed a ban on Maruti vehicles in Srinagar, allegedly at the behest of a political figure who owned a dealership for a rival company.
18Muzzamil Ahmed Dar @ Sohail s/o Ghulam Mohammad r/o Kotli, POKJammu Kashmir Liberation FrontApril 19, 1995Having entered the Kashmir Valley through Athmuqam, Dar participated in attacks against troops in December 1994 and January 1995 in Srinagar's Batmaloo area. He owes allegiance to the JKLF's Amanullah Khan faction.
19Nasarullah Mansoor Langriyal,s/o Mohammad Shafi Langriyal, r/o Jalal Pur, Gujarat, PakistanHarkat-ul-Jehad IslamiNovember 16, 1993 Participated in a massive action against the Border Security Force in June 1993 at Deesa, Doda, in which 10 troops and 6 civilians were killed. Langriyal was also responsible for the kidnapping and murder of another BSF trooper. A highly motivated operative, Langriyal fought in Afghanistan from 1983 to 1992.
20Nashi Ullah @ Jangzuas/o Nazir Ahmedr/o Bazaraq Parwan, AfghanistanLashkar-e-TaibaJuly 13, 1993Nashi Ullah, listed in Indian records as Nasrullah, is one of the few Afghan terrorists to have surrendered to the Indian armed forces. He was infiltrated into the Jammu area in May 1994, but came to realise his comrades were indulging in criminal activities, not fighting a jihad.
21Nasir Ikram @ Abu Ubaid s/o Qazi Ikram-ul-Haq r/o Mastaloo, Rawalpindi, PakistanJamait-ul-MujahideenAugust 21, 1994 Ikram was arrested almost immediately after entering the Kashmir Valley. He was trained at the Yawar camp in Afghanistan.
22Nasir Mohammad Soudozi @ Aftabs/o Sakhi Mohammad r/o Nawab Goru, Police Station Palandiri, Rawalkot, POKHarkat-ul-AnsarApril 29, 1996Trained at the Yawar camp in Afghanistan, Soudozi first worked at the Harkat-ul-Ansar office in Muzaffarbad, handling inter-organisational coordination in liaison with the ISI. He was brought into Kashmir to handle funds transfers from Pakistan.
23Nassir Ahmed Gujjar @ Azims/o Mohammad Bashir r/o Mirpur, POKMuslim MujahideenApril 2, 1996Trained in Pakistan, Gujjar was tasked by his handlers to attack Indian Army posts in the Rajouri area.
24Navaid Iqbal Bhat@ Tahirs/o Mohammad Iqbal r/o Sumani Mirpur, POKKashmir Freedom MovementJanuary 2, 1995Bhat belongs to a little-known and marginal group, but is highly motivated and trained. After entering India illegally, he visited several cities, issuing press notes and pamphlets seeking public support. He is currently held under the Public Safety Act.
25Nisar Ahmed Rajput@ Wasim @ Tariq s/o Mohammad Zaman,r/o Dhana Kotli, POKHarkat-ul-Jihad IslamiApril 19, 1995An active member of the Harkat-ul-Ansar, Rajput was briefly released in October 1999 when one set of criminal cases against him collapsed. The Pakistani national was immediately rearrested on fresh terrorism-related charges.
26Rahil Ahmed Hashmi s/o Mohammad Mushtaq Hashmi,r/o Bhag, POKJammu Kashmir Liberation FrontSeptember 12, 1995One of the JKLF's better known ideologues and organisers, Hashmi was arrested from Bemina in Srinagar.
27Saifullah Khalid @ Mohammad Ubaids/o Sher Khan,r/o Mong, Palandhari, Poonch, POKJamait-ul-MujahideenOctober 14, 1993Trained at Khost in Afghanistan, Khalid started off with All Barq before joining the Jamait-ul-Mujahideen. He was tasked to establish high-altitude forest hideouts in Anantnag at the time of his arrest.
28Shahid Latif@ Shaheen Bhats/o Abdul Lateef,r/o Bagh, POKJamait-ul-MujahideenJanuary 21, 1994 Latif was among the terrorists trapped in the first siege of the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar, and benefited from the subsequent "safe passage" deal. He was again sent into Kashmir in August 1994, this time to eliminate terrorists of Kashmiri origin who had negotiated the Hazratbal deal. Apart from several attacks on security forces, Latif is responsible for the murder of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen operative Mohammad Ayoub in the Wader forests.
29ShahidMohammad Mughal@ Abu Dardas/o Ali Afsa r/o Bangni, Rawalkot POKLashkar-e-TaibaJanuary 2, 1995Trained in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, Mughal is personally close to one of the Markaz Dawa wal' Irshad's top Amirs, Warris Khan. He was inducted into India along with a group of 25 Lashkar terrorists and 17 Al-Barq terrorists, along with arms and explosives. Mughal was arrested from Chhanapora in Srinagar.
30Sohail Ahmed Kataria s/o Shahbaz Ahmed Khanr/o Kotli, POKJammu Kashmir Liberation FrontOctober 29, 1996Kataria was involved with half-a-dozen attacks on security force positions, throwing grenades in crowded public places, and along with a terrorist named Mushtaq Kotru, with the killing of a BSF trooper at Habakadal in Srinagar in March 1996. He is also charged with the murder of JKLF terrorist Umar, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terrorist Bitta, a Chinese tourist, and Srinagar resident Shabir Ahmed.
31Sultan Ahmed Miyan @ Umar s/o Ghulam Jeelani r/o Abdul Hakim Faberwala, District Kahniwal, PakistanHarkat-ul-Jihad IslamiSeptember 14, 1994Like Rajput, Miyan was released from jail on November 16, 1999, but rearrested shortly afterwards because of continued terrorist activities. He was trained at the Liza camp in Afghanistan, and was arrested in Anantnag.
32Syed Khalid Hussain @ Sajad Hussain s/o Khadim Hussain Bukhari r/o Adamsheri, Muzaffarabad, POKIslami Jamait-ul-Tulba / Hizb-ul-MujahideenJanuary 12, 1995Hussain was trained in Khost, Afghanistan, and was issued weapons by the ISI before he was launched into India.
33Syed Sajid Sajjad Bukhari @ Sajjad @ Ali Bhai @ Sajjad Afghani s/o Syed Shah Pal r/o Mandyari Kotli, POKJammu Kashmir Liberation FrontJune 6, 1995Bukhari was responsible for the murder of the Assistant Manager of the Uri Hydel Project on October 4, 1995.
34Syed Salahuddin Qazi @ Mohammad Yousuf s/o Ghulam Rasool r/o Faisalabad, PakistanMuslim Liberation ArmyJuly 27, 1992Although a member of a relatively small organisation, Qazi was a top terrorist, charged with the Muslim Liberation Army's training programmes at Tattapani in POK. He crossed into Rajouri before being arrested with four others.
35Syed Waqar Shah@ Imrans/o Imam Shahr/o Abottabad, PakistanHarkat-ul-AnsarMarch 26, 1996 Shah was inducted to strenghten the Harkat-ul-Ansar network in Rajouri and Poonch, which in 1996 was minimal. He was subsequently ordered to disrupt the parliamentary elections that year through explosions and selective assassinations.
36Zulfikar Ali Shah@ Amar s/o Ziarat Ali r/o House No. 137,Block B, Latifabad,Hyderabad, PakistanIslami Inquilab-e-MahazFebruary 7, 1993 A dropout from a diploma course in Mechanical Engineering, Shah took part in the Afghan war from 1991. He arrived in India in late 1992, and was arrested shortly after he participated in an encounter with the Indian Army in Poonch in February 1993.
@ = alias r/o = resident of s/o = son of POK = Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir
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