Bilal Ahmed Kawa was arrested at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on Wednesday evening.
2000 Red Fort Terrorist Attack: Delhi Police and Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad have arrested Bilal Ahmad Kawa – a suspected Lashkar-e-Taeba (LeT) operative and an accused in the 2000 Red Fort terrorist attack. Kawa was arrested at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on Wednesday evening. As per police, Kawa routed money through hawala operations for terror activities. Absconding for 18 years, Kawa was arrested by a joint team of Gujarat Anti-Terror Squad and Delhi Police’s Special Cell. Police said Gujarat ATS had received a tip-off about Kawa boarding a flight to Delhi. The joint team nabbed him from the airport just after he landed.
What was the case?
Two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists attacked iconic Red Fort building on 22 December 2000. The attack was seen as an apparent attempt to derail India-Pakistan peace talks. The two LeT militants began firing indiscriminately, which resulted in the martyrdom of three army Jawans, belonging to 7th Rajputana Rifles. Apart from the army jawans, one civilian was also killed. Later, 11 people including mastermind Mohammad Arif from Pakistan’s Abbottabad were convicted in the case. However, Kawa was absconding for the past 18 years.
Charges on Bilal Ahmad Kawa
In its 2000 investigation, Delhi Police had found that Rs 29.5 lakh was allegedly transferred to Kawa’s bank account. The police in their investigation found that Arif deposited the money in Kawa’s account allegedly used in funding the Red Fort attack and later sent to Kashmir for militancy. The police also told media that Arif used to send the money through an account he had opened at a private bank’s branch in Connaught Place in July 2000. The money was transferred to Kawa’s account between July and November 2000.
How Kawa escaped arrest for 18 years
As per reports, Kawa told police that he changed his location frequently over the last 18 years. However, he had been living in Kashmir for the time being. Sources told The Indian Express that he was on his way to meet his brother in Delhi.