Mumbai: Pakistan intelligence agency ISI was “closely connected” with top operatives of banned Indian Mujahideen (IM) and provided shelter to its members wanted in India, the National Investigation Agency has told a special court.
The NIA said this in its supplementary charge sheet filed against 20 suspected IM operatives, including its absconding co-founders Riyaz Bhatkal and Iqbal Bhatkal, in connection with a case relating to larger conspiracy of the banned group to carry out terror activities across the country.
“Investigation has established that in pursuance of the conspiracy, accused A-10 (Riyaz Bhatkal) has remained closely connected with the ISI of Pakistan. The ISI organised training of IM operatives and also provided shelter to several accused persons, including A-10, after they were wanted by Indian courts for their involvement in terrorist activities,” the agency said.
The NIA also said that its probe in the case established that Iqbal Bhatkal, who is based in Pakistan, had associated with ISI to obtain funds and support.
“Investigation has established that accused Iqbal Bhatkal had associated himself with the Pakistani agency called as ISI for obtaining regular funding and infrastructural support for the IM operatives,” it said.
“Accused A-11 (Iqbal Bhatkal) was also summoned by the ISI officials on certain occasions and given directions. Due to the closeness of ISI with A-11, there were occasional intra-organisational rifts, as established during the investigation,” the NIA further said.
Out of the 20 accused named by NIA in its charge sheet, 17 have not been arrested yet while three others, Tehsin Akhtar, Haidar Ali and Zia-ur-Rehman, are in judicial custody in connection with the case.