Islamabad/New Delhi : A Pakistani furniture trader who was killed point blank by two unidentified motorcycle borne men on March 1 in Akhtar Colony of Karachi was none other than Indian Airlines flight IC 814 hijacker ‘Mistry Zahoor Ibrahim’, according to reports.
The IC 814 hijacker was staying at house no 363 Sector A, in Akhtar colony, of Karachi. The modus operandi of the killing pointed to a very carefully planned targeted operation. Mistry Zahoor Ibrahim was known as Zahid Akhund Ghani, the owner of furniture store Crescent Furniture in Akhtar Colony. Two bullets were fired at his head by the attackers, who entered his furniture godown. He was taken to hospital but died en-route. According to police, a 30 bore pistol was used in the attack.
Police found two empty shells of 30 bore pistol from the murder scene, and also recovered CCTV evidence. The CCTV showed two people riding a motorcycle doing a recce of the area. One was attired in shirt and trousers, while the other was wearing a shalwar shirt. One of them had his face covered in a helmet, while the other was wearing a surgical mask to hide his identity.
The attackers escaped from the same route after the accident. Police have launched a hunt for the two unidentified attackers. Mistry Zahoor Ibrahim was one of the five men who hijacked Indian Airlines flight IC-814 when it was enroute from Kathmandu to New Delhi on December 24, 1999. Indian authorities had identified him as the hijacker who repeatedly stabbed Indian passenger Ripan Katyal, who bled to death.
The other 170 passengers and crew survived the ordeal. Katyal was newly married and was on the plane with his wife Rachna. The plane was forced to land in Kandahar which was then under Taliban control. The five hijackers secured the release of three dreaded Islamist terrorists — Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, who were in Indian jails, in exchange for releasing the passengers. Of the five hijackers, one was identified as ‘Mistry Zahoor Ibrahim’, aka Zia from Akhtar Colony, Karachi, by the Indian authorities.
The way in which Mistry Zahoor Ibrahim aka Zahid Akhund Ghani was followed and killed by the masked men points to the handiwork of professionals. Geo TV, in a report on the killing of Zahid, said that police said after studying the the CCTV that the businessman was targeted in a highly planned manner.
The killers are suspected to have used a silencer fitted gun in the shooting. It quoted investigators as saying that the CCTV footage showed the two motorcyclists roaming the streets of Akhtar Colony for a recce and then entering the furniture warehouse of Zahid and targeting the trader. Another report said that he was killed in a shop near Akhtar Colony, Sector A Street No. 04. Zahid was taken to Jinnah Hospital but died en route. “The deceased has been identified as Zahid, 44, son of Abdul Ghani.”