India to contact Bangladesh over IC-814 hijack plotter

New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) India Tuesday said it will get in touch with Bangladesh after confirming the identity of an arrested militant, who has reportedly confessed to having plotted the 1999 hijacking of the Air India flight IC-814 from Kathmandu to Kandahar in Afghanistan.

‘Well, we certainly will get in touch with the government of Bangladesh and try to find out what the position is,’ External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told reporters here.

He was reacting to reports in a section of the Bangladeshi media about Bangladesh arresting a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant who has claimed a role in the IC-814 hijack.

‘If the identity of the person whom you are mentioning is the same as we have been looking out after the hijack…We certainly would be taking it up with the government of Bangladesh,’ Krishna said.

According to some media reports, the Bangladesh government has arrested Belal Hosain alias Nanu Mondal alias Bilal, who confessed to to having played a key role in the Dec 24, 1999, hijacking of the Air India flight IC-814 from Kathmandu, Nepal, to Kandahar in Afghanistan.

Bilal was arrested by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in a special anti-militancy drive near the Dhaka College Sunday.

He was arrested, along with four other JeM militants, including Pakistani national Rizwan Ahmed, who is the outfit’s regional coordinator and recruiting agent for conducting operations in India.

Counter-terror cooperation has improved between India and Bangladesh since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League came to power in December 2008. The two countries signed three security-related pacts during Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in January.

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