Documentary decodes 40-year-long mystery of Indian diplomat’s murder


Hashim Qureshi, a close associate of Amanullah Khan and India’s first hijacker of the Ganga Aircraft in 1971, said, “Masarat Iqbal was involved in this abduction. He was Amanullah Khan’s tenant.”…reports Asian Lite News

A new investigative documentary on the brutal killing of Indian diplomat in the UK, Ravindra Mhatre has led to several revelations 40 years after the murder, unmasking the killer of the envoy.

The investigative documentary by News9 Plus, titled ‘Murder of an Indian Diplomat’ for the first time has unveiled the killer of Mhatre, who met a brutal death in Birmingham of United Kingdom.

Ravindra Mhatre was an Assistant Commissioner in India’s Consulate at Birmingham. On February 3, 1984, four terrorists abducted him from outside his office. The next morning, an unknown group called Kashmir Liberation Army (KLA) claimed responsibility for the abduction.

The abductors demanded the release of terrorist Maqbool Butt from New Delhi’s Tihar Jail and nine others, along with 1 million pounds as ransom. On the evening of February 5, a motorist found Mhatre, lifeless with two gunshot wounds aimed at his head. Fearing that their plan could fail at any moment, the abductors assassinated Mhatre in cold blood.

The News9 Plus investigation traced the killer of the Indian diplomat, identified as Malik Massarat, in Kotli, Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK), who still fears his arrests, according to the investigation. Moreover, two witnesses have lately confirmed and identified Mhatre’s killer.

“I can confirm that the order to kill Ravindra Mhatre was given by Amanullah Khan. He was the Chairman of Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). Khan felt that police would be able to arrest the kidnappers and that would disgrace the JKLF, hence a new identity of KLF was given to the kidnappers,” Shabir Chaudhary, the former Secretary General of the JKLF said in an interview from UK.

Meanwhile, Hashim Qureshi, a close associate of Amanullah Khan and India’s first hijacker of the Ganga Aircraft in 1971, said, “Masarat Iqbal was involved in this abduction. He was Amanullah Khan’s tenant.”

“He called Amanullah Khan and told him that police could be reaching them soon. What should we do? Amanullah Khan told him in front of me, ‘Shoot him dead and dispose of the body’. I opposed Amanullah and told him not to kill this innocent man,” he added.

The investigation put forward by News9 Plus over months also revealed a failed attempt to assassinate a former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi in the UK and a conspiracy to kill a former Indian ambassador to France in the year 1985-86.

Indian diplomats in the United States and Canada have over the last few months been receiving death threats from designated Khalistani terrorists. The ongoing investigation of News9Plus began tracking the trail of intimidation, which also led the team to the sensational and unsolved murder of an Indian diplomat in the United Kingdom 40 years ago. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had also denounced the “atmosphere of intimidation” against Indian diplomats in Canada previously.

Ravindra Mhatre’s daughter, Asha D’Souza, wants the killers to be brought to justice. “I wouldn’t advocate killing anybody, but have a trial, and then convict that person so that people know what they’ve done.”

“This is a story that we should all feel touched by because what happened to him could have happened to anybody. It happened to an Indian diplomat, and it happened in this country. When people think that this was just one incident, I want them to remember that this has a grave implication for the way diplomats are treated and looked after worldwide,” said Vikram Doraiswami, India’s High Commissioner to the UK. (ANI)

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