Headley's deposition on IISc attack stumps City police

Headley's deposition on IISc attack stumps City police

The City police may take a re-look at the case pertaining to the 2005 terrorist strike at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in December 2005 following certain disclosures made by Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley about the incident on Thursday.

The 56-year-old Headley told the Additional Sessions Court in Mumbai through video-conferencing on Thursday that Abu Aziz was one of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives who carried out the attack at the IISc, in which a retired professor of IIT-Delhi was killed and four were injured.

The City police have filed a charge sheet naming a certain Abu Hamza as the prime suspect. The police concluded that Hamza escaped to Pakistan days after the attack. The disclosures made by Headley have come as a surprise to the police as Abu Aziz’s name had never come up during their investigation. There is no clarity whether the suspect goes by the two names, Abu Aziz and Abu Hamza.

“ We knew that Sabahuddin and Hamza carried out the attack. Abu Aziz was never in the picture. Aziz and Hamza could be one person as the terrorists have many aliases. On the other hand, Aziz and Hamza could be two different people. To verify Headley’s claims and to ascertain the fact, there needs to be a fresh inquiry,” a retired IPS officer who had investigated the case, told Deccan Herald.

 Meanwhile, highly placed sources in the City police said: “As an another agency is investigating cases involving Headley, it will have to analyse and verify the authenticity of his claims. If the agency feels that there is a need for re-opening of the case, then a formal  communication will be made to the City police. The police will take a decision based on the recommendations made by the agency.”

“Hamza’s involvement was confirmed when me and another officer from the City interrogated Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the Pakistani militant involved in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. He told us that he attended a training session in Pakistan conducted by LeT where Hamza was present. He also told us that Hamza narrated to him how he had carried out the attacks on IISc in Bengaluru on December 28, 2005,” the officer said.

Kasab never mentioned Aziz’s name and hence a fresh inquiry will have to ascertain Headley’s claims, he opined.

According to the charge sheet, after the attack, Hamza went to Hyderabad and reached Bihar by train from there.

Later, he managed to sneak into Nepal and flew to Pakistan.

The IISc attack
A man wearing a camouflage jacket had fired randomly with an automatic rifle when delegates of an international conference of the Operational Research Society of India were coming out of the JN Tata Auditorium on the IISc campus around 7.15 pm on December 28, 2005.

Prof MC Puri of the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, who was hit by a bullet, was killed and five were injured when the intruder had opened fire and lobbed grenades. The police had recovered three grenades, an AK-56 assault rifle and live bullets from the attack site.

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