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January 24, 2002
1925 IST

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India to seek Ansari's extradition
from UAE

India will seek extradition of Dubai-based underworld don Aftab Ansari who claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack on the American Centre in Kolkata, Minister of State for External Affairs Omar Abdullah said in New Delhi on Thursday.

"The government will request the United Arab Emirates to extradite Ansari since India has an extradition treaty with them," Abdullah said.

He said that a home ministry team was already in Kolkata to gather evidence against Ansari to make a "water-tight case" against the fugitive.

Aftab Ansari, alias Aftab Ahmed alias Farhan Malik, was cultivated by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence in early 2000. The agency also introduced him to Omar Sheikh, a Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami leader. He abducted Kolkata's shoe baron Partha Paritam Roy Barman, who was later released on a ransom of Rs 37.5 million.

Out of this amount, Omar Sheikh, one of the three militants released by India in exchange for the passengers on board the hijacked Indian Airlines plane in Kandahar, had sent $100,000 through telegraphic transfer to Mohammed Atta, leader of hijackers who rammed planes into the WTC and the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, reports indicated that those involved in the Kolkata attack have possibly fled to Bihar's Purnea region from West Bengal. They could be making attempts to escape to Nepal, they said.

ALSO READ
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USIS attackers came from Bangladesh: Officials
Attack in Kolkata outrageous: NRIs
USIS attack: Cops detain 50 in search for gunmen
USIS attack: Eyewitnesses yet to recover from trauma
Pakistan condemns attack on American centre
US embassy happy with the security in India
USIS attack: Three groups claim responsibility
India, US to work jointly to wipe out terrorism
'They did not even spare the pedestrians'
Security tightened around US embassy in Delhi
Four killed, 17 injured in attack on USIS office

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