Chennai: The code name for a terror plot to attack the US consulate in Chennai last year was “wedding hall”, according to details revealed by a Sri Lankan who has, in court, accepted working as an agent of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI.
The Sri Lankan, Sakir Hassan, was arrested in April last year by the Tamil Nadu police after a tip-off from intelligence officials. He was sentenced to five years in prison by a Chennai court last week after he pleaded guilty to charges that include attempts to launch terror attacks in India.
The case against the 37-year-old was handled by the National Investigation Agency or NIA, which is the country’s main counter-terrorism arm.
Sakir Hassan has told investigators that he conspired with Pakistan High Commission officials in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo to plot terror strikes on the Israeli consultate in Bangalore and the US consulate in Chennai.
The failed plot was allegedly assigned to a pair of terrorists who were to enter India through the Maldives, according to Hassan.
The NIA wants its officers to travel to Sri Lanka to gather evidence against primary suspects; its request has been pending with the Home Ministry for two months, according to the Press Trust of India.
In his testimony, Hassan gave a detailed description of his meetings with various Pakistani officials based in Sri Lanka.
According to the court order, Hassan said a Pakistani official he met at the consulate in Sri Lanka told him that the terror attack was code-named “wedding hall”, the terrorists were being referred to as “cooks” and the bombs to be used were to be called “spices”.
A laptop taken from him reportedly contained details of the plan to attack the US and Israeli consulates.
On Saturday, Home Minister Rajnath Sigh accused Pakistani “state actors” of attempting to destabilise India. He singled out Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence as one of the “state actors” seeking to roil India’s security.