LUCKNOW: A Hizbul Mujahideen operative who tried to sneak into India from Nepal with his Pakistani passport tucked into his socks has been handed in remand to the Anti-Terrorist Squad of the Uttar Pradesh police.
The police have 12 days to grill him about his handlers and also the whereabouts of another alleged terror operative who came with him but vanished into the countryside.
Naseer Ahmad Wani alias Sadiq tried to go through a Sahastra Seema Bal (SSB) checkpost on the Indo-Nepal border on Saturday. Security personnel said they frisked him and found a Pakistani passport on him.
The other alleged terror operative, Mohammad Shafi, came through Naseer Wani from the UAE but went missing from Maharajganj district in UP on Saturday.
It’s not clear why the alleged Hizb operative was carrying Pakistani documentation. The inspector-general of UP ATS, Asim Arun said the police are checking out the possibility that he intended to get caught so as to get into the Lucknow jail where more than 12 terrorists are lodged, including some with ISI connections.
According to an officer who is part of the team interrogating Naseer Wani, terror operatives do not as a rule carry their real documents and identity proof while travelling. So why was Naseer Wani doing so?
Naseer Wani (34) is said to be a native of Ramban district in Jammu & Kashmir. He allegedly moved to Pakistan in 2003 after his name cropped up on India’s anti-terror radar.
There he is said to have been trained by the Hizbul Mujahideen and worked under its commander Sayeed Salahudeen.
Shafi was a native of Kupwara district and also received training in Pakistani army camps.
Intelligence agencies think Naseer Wani was being sent to the Kashmir Valley for an important mission but was caught by SSB on the Sunauli border in UP.
According to police sources, Naseer Wani, accompanied by his Shafi, boarded a flight in Sharjah from where he boarded a flight to Kathmandu on May 10. Sleuths recovered air tickets and other documents which helped them trace Naseer Wani’s route.
Central intelligence agencies and the local Intelligence Bureau unit from Lucknow are likely to join the ATS in the investigation of Naseer Wani.