India Issued Arrest Warrant for JeM Chief Masood Azhar in Pathankot Airbase Incident
NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday secured non-bailable arrest warrants for Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Abdur Rauf and two others for allegedly conspiring to carry out a terror strike on the strategic Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.
A special NIA court based in Mohali issued the ‘open-ended non-bailable warrants’ for Masood Azhar, his brother and main handlers Kashif Jaan and Shahid Latif for allegedly entering into a criminal conspiracy with JeM terrorists for carrying out a terror strike on the IAF base, Indian newspapers reported.
The special court issued the arrest warrants after weighing the “evidence” presented by the NIA before it, which included telephonic conversation between the terrorists and the Jaish handlers like Jaan and Latif.
The video of Rauf was also presented before the court in which he claimed responsibility for the attack and complimented his boys for it.
The video has since been removed and the website has also gone off the cyber world. The NIA has already sought voice samples of Azhar and three others from Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which came to India for carrying out a probe into the Pathankot terror probe.
The non-bailable warrant will be sent to the Interpol. An Interpol Red Corner notice is already pending against Azhar for his alleged involvement in the conspiracy behind attacks on Indian parliament and Jammu and Kashmir state assembly.
Similarly, an Interpol Red Corner Notice is pending against Rauf in connection with the IC-814 hijacking case of 1999.
Meanwhile, Indian External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj is expected to raise the issue of China blocking India’s bid to ban the JeM chief Masood Azhar by the UN with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, whom she will be meeting on the sidelines of a trilateral in Moscow on April 18.
A day after Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishanker said the Chinese action at the UN was raised at “fairly high level”, MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Friday said India was in constant touch with China on the issue and further action will depend on the outcome of “conversations” between the two countries.
Asked if Swaraj will raise the issue of Masood with Yi, the spokesperson said, “All issues of mutual concerns and interests will be discussed.”
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