Indian Airlines plane hijacker who was running business in Pakistan killed
New Delhi: Unidentified gunmen have shot dead a “businessman” in Karachi who Indian intelligence officials said was Jaish-e-Mohammed militant Mistry Zahoor Ibrahim, involved in the 1999 hijacking of Indian Airlines plane IC-814 and fatal stabbing of passenger Rupin Katyal.
According to digital news agency ‘Chippa’, run by ‘momentiquemedia’ which has an address and telephone numbers of Karachi, “one person died in firing near a shop at Akthar Colony Sector A, Gali (lane) number four. The body was transferred to Jinnah hospital.”
The same agency, which puts out news in Urdu, had identified the “victim” as Zahid, 44, and later quoted Senior Superintendent of Police (Karachi east) as saying that initial investigation indicated it to be a case of personal rivalry.
The SSP had further said that four people had entered the shop where the businessman was fired four to five times.
However, the officials in India said that the businessman killed was Ibrahim who was living under a false identity of Zahid Akhund for many years.
Code-named “doctor” during the 1999 hijacking, Ibrahim was the owner of Crescent Furniture located inside Akhtar Colony in Karachi.
According to reports, Rauf Asgar, the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar, had joined the funeral procession of the businessman in Karachi. Rauf is at present operational chief of the militant group.
The ill-fated IC-814 aircraft of Indian Airlines, with 176 passengers including five hijackers and 15 crew members on board, was hijacked from Nepal on December 24, 1999.
The plane, after brief halts in Amritsar, Lahore and Dubai, finally landed in Kandahar in Afghanistan which was then under the Taliban’s control.
“Ibrahim was earlier a terrorist of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and was among the five hijackers of IC 814.”
Masood Azhar’s brothers — Rauf Asghar and Ibrahim Azhar — who are at present living in Pakistan and have an Interpol Red Corner notice pending against them, were also part of the hijacking team.
The hijackers had executed one passenger, 25-year-old Rupin Katyal, who was returning with his wife from Kathmandu.
The hijacking ended after the passengers were exchanged for the release of Masood Azhar, Omar Sheikh and Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar from Indian jails on December 31, 1999. The entire exchange of passengers was overseen by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who was the then Special Director with the Intelligence Bureau.