Sajid Mir- How he got away?


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From left: Sajid Mir and Abu Jundal

Abu Jundal alias Zabiuddin Ansari, the Hindi tutor of the ten terrorists who carried out the 26/11 attack says that the elusive Sajid Mir was very much in the custody of the Pakistani officials, but was let off easily two days after the attack.
Jundal who was one of the men in the control room at Karachi when the attack was taking place had stated earlier that Sajid Mir who goes by the alias Sajeed Majid was also part of the control room.

Jundal’s latest revelation regarding Mir comes at a time when his trial is all set to begin on December 9th. He is being tried for the Aurangabad arms haul case and also the 26/11 attack.

Jundal during his several hours of questioning by both the National Investigation Agency and the crime branch had provided several details regarding Mir, the man who handled David Headley. Two days after he was arrested and brought down from Saudi Arabia, he had told the agencies that Mir was an important man in the Pakistan establishment and none of us were allowed to speak much with him. I was also told that he is closely guarded and is a “khaas admi.”

However Jundal’s latest claim that Mir was kept in custody and then let off is interesting as it goes on to show that Pakistan was shielding him. While Jundal says that he was taken in for questioning, the Indian Intelligence counters this claim and say that it was a de-briefing session which was undertaken by the ISI following which he was let off. Mir was intentionally kept in the custody of the ISI since they knew that India would be baying for his blood and any further details on this man would directly link to the Pakistan establishment.

Mir according to various accounts and investigations was part of the Pakistan army. He later joined the ISI and was working for them. His primary role was to set up the foreign operations of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and in this regard he worked closely with operatives out of Pakistan. He had played a crucial role in recruiting operatives in France and then his biggest assignment was of course the 26/11 attack. During this attack he was the handler for David Headley who too during his interrogation confirms the same, but falls short of linking him to the Pakistan establishment.

Jundal’s account regarding Mir would come up during his trial and his statements before the judge would be yet another step towards linking the Pakistan establishment with the 26/11 attack.

Jundal further states during his interrogation that Mir had set up the control room in Karachi along with Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Abu Kafa. The 26/11 control room at Malir, Karachi was closed down immediately after the attack. Mir was taken into safe custody for two days and then asked to leave. Mir from Karachi is said to have gone to Muzzafarabad and then disappeared. However at Muzzafarabad the Baitul Mujahideen camp where the terrorists were trained was shut down and hence a new one was set up in a place called Chela Bandi. After staying at the Chela Bandi camp for a couple of days, Mir was summoned to Islamabad. We heard nothing about him after that, Jundal tells the police.

These would be keys aspects during the trial, says an officer who has interrogated Jundal. His advocate, Ejaz Naqvi says that Jundal has retracted most of what he said and we will see what the prosecution has on them. On December 9th the trial will commence and the charges are likely to be framed on the same day itself, Naqvi also informed.

(Story first published on rediff.com)

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