Exactly 15 years ago on December 13, 2001 Parliament of India was attacked by Lashkar-e-Taiba (Let) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists leading to the death of six Delhi Police personnel, two Parliament Security Service personnel and a gardener along with the death of five terrorists.
More than 100 people including leading politicians were in the parliament building at the time of the attack when 9 terrorists infiltrated the compound in a car with Home Ministry and Parliament labels while carrying AK47 rifles, grenades, grenade launchers and pistols.
Here is a look at where the perpetrators are 15 years later:
Maulana Masood Azhar
Founder and leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed designated terror group, Masood Azhar was initially detained for a year by Pakistani authorites under ‘house arrest’ but was never formally charged leading to his release by December 2002.
Since the 2001 Parliament attack, Azhar has been connected to various terrorist attacks in India, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks. After disappearing for a period of 6 years, Azhar materialised when he addressed a rally in PoK Muzaffarabad calling for the resumption of jihad in Kashmir.
Azhar was taken under ‘protective custody’ by Pakistani authorities after the 2016 Pathankot attack, but appeared to be free in April 2016. India has made repeated efforts to designate Masood Azhar as a terrorist by United Nations thereby freezing his accouts, but has not been successful due to China’s veto vote.
Ghazi Baba alias Abu Jehadi
Kashmir in-charge of the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist group Ghazi Baba alias Abu Jehadi was considered to be the mastermind behind the 2001 Parliament attack as well as the hijack of an Indian Airlines flight to Kandahar two years earlier. Abu Jehadi had attempted to blend into Kashmir by marrying a local and buying a house in her name, but kept a secret door behind the dressing table.
However, two years after the Parliament attack, with the help of extensive intelligence gathering a Border Security Force team carried out a crack down and killed Abu Jehadi in the gun battle.
Mohammad Afzal Guru
Only two days after the December 13 Parliament attack, Kashmir born Mohammad Afzal was traced back to Srinagar through intelligence and leads relating to the car used and cellphone records. Afzal was arrested along with his cousin Shaukat Husain Guru, Shaukat’s wife Afsan Guru (Navjot Sandhu before marriage) and S A R Gilani.
In 2002 began an 11 year long legal battle as Afzal Guru received several charges under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and Indian Penal Code including, waging of war against the Government of India and conspiracy to commit the same; murder and criminal conspiracy; conspiring and knowingly facilitating the commission of a terrorist act.
Afzal Guru was sentenced to death for his involvement in the Parliament attacks, which was upheld by Supreme Court. After President of India rejected Afzal Guru’s mercy petition, he was executed on February 9, 2013.
S.A.R. Gilani (Syed Abdul Rahman Gilani)
Arrested along with Afzal Guru, Kashmir-born S.A.R. Gilani was a Delhi University Professor of Arabic who openly supported the concept of self-determination for Kashmir. In the subsequent trial after the arrest of Afzal Guru, Shaukat Hussain and Navjot Sandhu, Gilani was acquitted of all charges.
Gilani’s name again cropped up in February 2016 when he was arrested for sedition for allegedly organising an event marking the death of Afzal Guru at Delhi’s Press Club of India.
The five militants who carried out the attack on Parliament personally were killed and identified as Hamza, Haider alias Tufail, Rana, Ranvijay and Mohammed.