‘He was a frequent flier, not absconding as police claims, says Red Fort attack accused’s family



Delhi police on Thursday arrested, Bilal Ahmed Kawa, a Srinagar resident, from Indira Gandhi International Airport, who according to police was involved on December 22, 2000, Red Fort attack in which three people, including two Army men, were killed.

Kawa’s mother pleading for her son’s release, KL image by Bilal Bahadur

Kawa, according to police was arrested around 6 pm on January 11 from the T-3 terminal of the Delhi Airport and was suspected to have links with Lashkar-e-Toiba.

“On December 22, 2000, three Indian Army personnel were killed in indiscriminate firing at Red Fort. While at least 11 people — including mastermind Mohammad Arif from Pakistan’s Abbottabad — has been convicted in the case, Kawa was absconding,” DCP (Special Cell) P S Kushwaha said.

kawa’s family protests in press colony, Srinagar, KL image by Bilal Bahadur

The arrest was made by a joint team of Gujarat Anti-Terror Squad and Delhi Police’s Special Cell. Police sources said the Gujarat ATS received a tip-off that Kawa would be on a flight to Delhi. On the basis of the information, the joint team nabbed him from the airport just after he landed,” media outlet Indian Express reported.

Meanwhile, Kawa’s family members on Friday morning protested outside Srinagar’s Press Colony, questioning Kawa’s arrest after 17 years.

Kawa, according to his family is a frequent traveller to Delhi and even owns an accommodation on Chamelian Road, Near Filmistan Cinema, Sadar Bazar, New Delhi.

Kawa’s mother Fatima said that the allegations against Kawa are totally baseless.

On January 10, Kawa had gone to Delhi for a medical check-up as he had high cholesterol. “We told him to see a doctor there as we had accommodation there,” said Fatima.

“If Kawa was a militant, then why was he given an Aadhar card or other documents? He was not travelling outside Kashmir for the first time,” said Fatima.

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