Police fear Delhi HC blast mastermind is dead

Jammu: A massive search operation has been launched to find whether Junaid Akram Malik, wanted by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the Delhi High Court blast, and one of his uncle are alive.

Jammu and Kashmir Police teams have fanned out in Kishtwar town, 226 km from here, to verify source-based information that Junaid, on whom NIA announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh, has been killed by his own cadre of Hizbul Mujahideen fearing that he may surrender.

“It has been more than three months since his uncle, a former Hizbul militant, left in search of Junaid in higher reaches of Kishtawar,” a senior official engaged in the hunt said. However, it has been more than three weeks that the communication with the kin has fallen silent as well and there was no mention about Junaid in the intercepts, sources said.

The state police, which gave an initial breakthrough in the September 2011 Delhi High Court blast case by arresting the accused who had sent the e-mail to media houses, had pressed its specially trained dogs also in the search operation, the sources said.

An uncle of Junaid, whose medico brother Wasim Akram Malik was arrested from Bangladesh after a probe by the state police, was engaged in pursuing the accused to surrender. Based on information provided by local sources, both are believed to have been killed by Chota Hafeez, a Hizbul terrorist and also an accused in the high court blast.