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September 13, 2012

IC-814 hijack suspect arrested in J and K

     Kishtwar (Jammu and Kashmir): The police have arrested Mehrajuddin Dand alias Javed, suspected of providing fake travel documents and logistical support to the hijackers of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 in 1999. Allegedly a top man of the Pakistan 's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and considered the right hand man of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, Mehrajuddin is also said to have links with Dawood Ibrahim. Besides being an important fundraiser, he was also allegedly involved in many terror activities, including 1996 Lajpat Nagar blasts. Mehrajuddin has been operating in Kishtwar district for over 20 years. He used to live in Nepal with a Hindu name and has hideouts across India. Indian Airlines flight IC-814, with mostly Indians on board, had taken off from Nepal on the Christmas Eve thirteen years ago, and was hijacked in the Indian airspace. The hijackers had directed the flight to Kandhar, after fueling stops at Amritsar and Lahore, and a stop at Dubai were they freed some passengers. The hijackers killed one man in the seven-day stand-off that ended controversially with the Indian government releasing three notorious terrorist leaders for the safe return of the rest of the passengers. Among those freed by India were Maulana Masood Azhar who later founded the Jaish-e-Mohammad and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who is accused of later killing American journalist Daniel Pearl.
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