The special cell of Delhi police and Gujarat police’s anti-terror squad have arrested a man, identified as Bilal Ahmed Kawa, who was allegedly involved in the Red Fort attack conspiracy of 2000.
Two Army jawans and a civilian were killed in the strike. Kawa (37) had arrived in Delhi from Srinagar via a Jet Airways flight and was intercepted at IGI Airport around 5.40pm by cops who had been tipped off about his travel plans in advance. An intelligence officer had been trailing Kawa from Srinagar airport, sources said. DCP (special cell) Pramod Kushwah confirmed the arrest to TOI. Kawa was alleged to be in touch with Ashfaq, alias Mohammed Aarif, a Lashkar commander who was one of the prime conspirators of the attack.
LeT terror suspect Bilal Ahmed Kawa who was arrested in a joint operation by Special Cell of Delhi Police and Gujarat ATS from Delhi Airport yesterday for alleged involvement in terror attack on Red Fort in 2000. pic.twitter.com/ap3b0CsOZR
— ANI (@ANI) January 11, 2018
Kawa had been hiding in Kashmir under an assumed identity but his cover was blown a few days ago, sources said. Since then, he was being tracked by an intelligence agency. Ashfaq, who belongs to Abbottabad in Pakistan, had been awarded the death sentence in 2011 but it was later stayed by the Supreme Court. He is lodged in Tihar Jail along with 10 others who have been convicted in the case.
On December 22, 2000, six Lashkar terrorists carrying assault rifles had stormed the Red Fort around 7pm through Lahori Gate, its main entrance. They managed to sneak into the military shelters and opened fire, killing three people. Ashfaq was later arrested and he led the cops to his aide, Abu Samal, who was killed in the Batla House encounter. Other executors were identified as Abu Samad, Abu Sad, Abu Sakhar, Bilal and Abu Haidar.