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Nepal police arrest Indore-Patna train tragedy ‘mastermind’

By Anil Giri
Kathmandu, Feb 8 (IANS)
The Nepali police on Tuesday presented before the media in the southern city of Birgunj five alleged ISI agents, who had been involved in various terror activities in Nepal and India.

They were operating their ring from Pakistan, Malaysia, Dubai and the UAE, the police said. The main accused — Samshul Hoda, 43, from Bara district of Nepal — is suspected to have planted a bomb on the Indore-Patna Express train on November 21, which claimed nearly 150 lives.

The Nepali police secured the extradition of Hoda from Dubai on Sunday and took him to his home district Bara for further investigation.

Bara Superintendent of Police (SP) Narenda Prasad Upreti, after parading the five accused men before the media, said: “We have established that Hoda and his friends were involved in terrorist activities in India. He executed his plans with support from his cronies based in Pakistan, Malaysia and Dubai.”

Upreti said Hoda got involved in terror and other criminal activities after he lost an election in 2013 that incurred him a loss of Nepali Rs 20 million (1 Nepali rupee=0.63 Indian rupee, approximately).

After failing to pay his debts, he first started circulating fake Indian currency notes. But he could not make enough money to pay back his debts, so he contacted the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency, and started hiring people to carry out various terror activities in India for it, Upreti said.

According to a police statement, Hoda admitted that he had paid Rs 8 lakh in advance to Umashankar Patel from Raxual in India through a Nepali citizen, Brij Kishore Giri, to plant the bomb in a train. Giri and his accomplices were to be paid Rs 30 million more if the plan succeeded.

Umashanakar later handed the money over to two Indian nationals — Arun and Dipak — from East Champaran district for planting the bomb. As per the plan, Arun and Dipak planted the bomb on the railway track but due to technical reasons, it did not go off.

As the plan had failed, Giri demanded the money back, but Dipak and Arun refused to return the money. Then Giri called them to a jungle area in Bara district and killed them on December 25 last year, the police statement said.

When the bodies of the two Indian nationals were found, the Bihar police launched a massive operation and arrested one Mujahir Ansari, who later disclosed Hoda and Giri’s link with those killed in the jungle.

After Ansari’s sensational revelation, the Nepali police arrested Giri from Parsa district. During the interrogation, Giri revealed that the same gang was also involved in the train blast. After this, the police sent a team to Dubai to bring Hoda back to Nepal, according to the police statment.

Along with Hoda and Giri, the police also paraded Ashish Singh, Ansari and Umesh Kasmar Kurmi, who all worked for Hoda and helped carry out various cross-border crimes.

(Anil Giri can be contacted at girianil@gmail.com)

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