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NIA officer shot dead: ‘Killers were professionals, motive unclear’

NIA IG Sanjeev Singh said the agency had some leads on the assailants but refused to divulge details.

DG BSF KK Sharma visits Fortis Hospital Noida to check on Farzana, the slain officer’s wife. Gajendra Yadav DG BSF KK Sharma visits Fortis Hospital Noida to check on Farzana, the slain officer’s wife. Gajendra Yadav

While it is not yet clear whether NIA officer Mohammed Tanzeel Ahmed was killed due to personal or professional reasons, various agencies probing the case are certain that the killers were professionals and had considerable hatred for him.

“He was meticulously followed, his identity reconfirmed and then killed brutally. The assailants pumped more than 20 bullets into him; one after putting the pistol on his neck. The intention was more than just ensuring that he dies, it seems,” said an NIA officer.

Ahmed was killed by two motorcycle-borne assailants in the early hours of Sunday, when he was driving back home with his family from a wedding near his village Sahaspur in Bijnor, UP.

NIA IG Sanjeev Singh said the agency had some leads on the assailants but refused to divulge details. “We are actively working with UP police, which is investigating the case. We have some leads but they are being worked out. It would be too premature to say whether the officer was killed for personal or professional reasons,” he said.

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Singh, however, said that if a terror angle was found behind the murder, NIA would take over the investigation.

WATCH| New Twist In Tanzeel Ahmed’s Murder Case, UP Police Suspects Personal Enmity
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2AyPeQWG84%5D

Describing the sequence of events, NIA sources said at about 12.45 am Sunday a bike coming from the direction of his village sped past Ahmed’s car. The men took u-turn, overtook the car, stopped and began firing at Ahmed.

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“They first fired from outside. Once Ahmed was incapacitated, they came close and fired again by putting the pistol’s barrel on his chest and neck,” said an NIA officer.

Sources said what helped the assailants was an incomplete culvert right before the village. “It invariably slowed down vehicles. That gave assailants enough time to confirm Ahmed’s identity, take a U-turn and then fire at him,” said an officer.

Sources said no personal enmity or property dispute angle had come to the fore as yet, but the same could not be ruled out as Ahmed had landed property. However, they also pointed out that alleged SIMI activists had earlier targeted policemen.

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“The SIMI men who escaped from Khandwa jail had subsequently killed a constable involved in terror investigations. An IS-inspired man had only last year stabbed a constable in Yavatmal,s Maharashtra. Members of the self-appointed IS franchise, Junud al Khilafa-e-Hind, have said during questioning that security personnel were their prime target. So this angle also cannot be ruled out,” said an NIA officer.

A deputy superintendent with BSF, Ahmed had been associated with NIA for the past six years on deputation. He had worked on almost all cases of jihadi terrorism that NIA had probed in these years. He was instrumental in the probe against former Indian Mujahideen chief Yasin Bhatkal, and was also a liaison officer for the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team that visited Delhi recently in connection with the Pathankot attack probe.

Wife has 50 per cent chance of survival

Farzana (40), the wife of slain NIA officer Mohammed Tanzil Ahmed, has a 50 per cent of survival if she remains stable for the next 48 hours, said BSF Director General K K Sharma. On Monday, Sharma had visited Noida’s Fortis Hopsital at about 4 pm Monday to take stock of Farzana’s condition. Speaking to reporters after the visit, Sharma said, “Doctors told me that the operation was successful. While Farzana is still critical, doctors said her condition is stablising. They said if she remains stable for the next 48 hours, chances of her survival are at 50 per cent,” said Sharma. He added that he has not spoken to Farzana as she is still in the ICU.

First published on: 05-04-2016 at 01:19:51 am
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