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December 20, 2001
1846 IST

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Delhi police moves Centre for handing over of bodies to Pak

The Delhi police on Thursday moved the Centre to approach Pakistan for claiming bodies of the five Pakistani terrorists killed while trying to storm Parliament on December 13.

The Delhi police wrote a formal letter to the home ministry so that it takes up the matter with the ministry of external affairs for persuading Pakistan to claim the bodies, police sources said on Thursday.

The letter stated that since the five terrorists - Mohammad, Raja, Rana, Haider and Hamza - are all Pakistanis, Islamabad should claim their bodies, the sources said.

As per rules, bodies are to be retained for some time for the relatives or friends to claim them.

"However, if no claim is received within a specified time period, the bodies will be handed over to the Wakf Board for performance of the last rites," they said.

Investigators have concluded, on the basis of records of communication and interrogation of four other Jaish-e-Mohammad operatives - Mohammad Afzal, A R Geelani, Shaukat Hussain and his wife Afsan - arrested in connection with the attack, that all the five terrorists were Pakistani nationals.

The terrorists had reportedly made several calls to Jaish leaders in Karachi before the attack, the sources said.

Meanwhile, efforts are also being made through appropriate channels to establish the real names of the five Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists as they are believed to have been operating under code names.

The Delhi police has given the photographs of the five terrorists to the home ministry for being passed on to Pakistan authorities.

Police were also investigating a telephone call made by one of the terrorists to Germany.

Efforts are also being made to ascertain whether Mohammad, leader of the suicide squad, was one of the five hijackers of the Indian Airlines plane in December 1999.

One of the suspects picked up following the attack on Parliament Mohammad Afzal told interrogators that leader of the suicide squad Mohammad was the one who acted as 'Burger' during the hijacking.

Meanwhile, sources said some officials, who had seen the hijackers, disagreed that Mohammad was among them.

A Delhi police team sent to Kashmir has returned and brought with it the truck in which Afzal and Shaukat had fled immediately after the attack on December 13, they said.

PTI

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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