Mr Karnal Singh (IPS), who served as chief of the Enforcement Directorate, speaks to Tarun Nangia on the Legally Speaking program.
T.N: How was Delhi life during that time Mandal, when you were posted in Delhi, I think the character of the Indian society politics and everything changed after Mandal politics so I think there would be?
Karnal: See for me Delhi was home because I am from Delhi so I don’t find anything new happening except that there a lot of immigration was there from outside except that I find Delhi as a home.
T.N: So, what posting did you get?
Karnal: See Initially I got DCP Headquarter three for again a for two, three months and the job here was the quarters allotment to the force I again computerised the system of quarter allotment to bring transparency so that nobody says my right has been taken away then I was posted in Battalion and the CP there was MB Kaushal told me very clearly that there is the force is not reaching in time to the places where they have to be deployed so the task given to me was that to make the force maximum number of force to reach at that particular places wherever there is a requirement so I made a system of again through the computers that morning I will get the report as soon as I reached the office I get a report of previous day from which company we used to deploy from various paramilitary also and the ten Battalions were there in Delhi Police and then I used to write a letter in the morning that your force has so much so much shortages and it reached so much late so this formulation of the system help bring discipline in the system and the forces were reaching in time then I was posted as DCP North West District it was a field posting where I remained there from ninety three to ninety five.
T.N: how was your time as DCP North West any interesting cases that you crack that time what was your posting like that time?
Karnal: See the North West District at that time included Urban areas as well as rural areas the places like it extended from Delhi University. Delhi University was not part of it but beyond Delhi University if you go to the outer area Ashok Vihar and Rohini. Rohini was coming up at that time going to the rural area of Narela.
T.N: This is ninety-three?
Karnal: Ninety three Bhavana area so I used to go to the rural area meet with the villagers have meetings with them to understand there problems Similarly in the urban area meeting with the Resident Welfare Associations it used to be a first-hand experience and you would know how your force is performing they are performing good or weather they are not performing to the expectations of the public.
T.N: People talk to you?
Karnal: Yes they used to talk to me they used to give very useful information also and that helped bringing the system in place like if somebody some police officer is not behaving in a locality properly then I used to know immediately. Secondly there is one interesting incident took place when I was posted there. See one businessman approached me as he was being threatened by a kidnapper named Dinesh Thakur. He was asking him for some money—basically extortion calls. So I asked ACP Ravi Shankar to work on this case and we also asked the businessman to keep negotiating so ultimately their deal was struck and the businessman was supposed to pay something around rupees two lakh to Dinesh Thakur in Ashok Vihar market so when they came and Ravi Shankar team tried to arrest them there was a firing between them. My office of DCP North West District is very close to Ashok Vihar market so hearing about the gun shots I immediately went to the market. The encounter was still taking place. The shopkeepers pointed me to a person running away so I started running after him. A constable brought a car immediately and I sat in it to follow him but then he took a turn to a place where the car could not go so we left the car and we chased him. When we caught him he immediately brought out a card saying that he was a journalist but on searching him we found a weapon with him. The person’s name was Aftab Ansari. I mentioned this anecdote in my book.
T.N: viewers if you want to know more about this incident you must read Batla house by Karnal Singh but Sir you may continue?
Karnal: See this Aftab Ansari later came out to be proved out to be a person who initiated Indian Vijayhitin.
T.N: So, the man or the boy who you then caught later started Indian Vijayhitin this was inside the jail that he?
Karnal: Yes what happened is in the jail actually there were three persons I would say in the Tihar Jail one was Aftab Ansari hailing from Calcutta now this boy wanted to become a terrorist and he wanted training in the Pak occupied Kashmir he went to Kashmir for that he met terrorist in Kashmir who gave him some initial training of using arms and ammunitions but they said that the vigilance said the border is very high and they will not be able to send him to Pakistan then he went to Bangladesh from there also he could not go then he tried to take visa he did not get the visa to go to Pakistan then he joined the group of Jammu and Kashmir terrorist who were planning to have blast in different parts of the country so in that process he came to Delhi and he was arrested by Delhi Police at that time somewhere around ninety four also he was in jail then there was another person Omar. So, Omar Sheikh he was a hugi member he hailed from UK came to Afghanistan and from there he came to India his task was to get some terrorist of Hugi released from jail so he planned and he kidnapped four foreigners three britishers and one from America
T.N: But this is in Delhi the kidnapping happened or in America?
Karnal: Kidnapping happened in Delhi.
T.N: Okay but these citizens were Americans okay and one from Britain?
Karnal: Three from Britain and one from America so the three were kept in a house in Ghaziabad and one was kept in a village in Muzaffarnagar area actually he gave them the story that his father has left a big village area for him.
T.N: you mean the kidnaper which is Omar?
Karnal: Yes, the kidnappee so the kidnapper told the kidnappee that his father has left a big farm land in a village and he would like to show them he became friendly with them.
T.N: Okay so he defriended three Britain’s and the Americans and told that he has a farm near Delhi and he wants to show them the farm his own farm?
Karnal: Yes, so what happened is Ghaziabad police was looking for a thief and in that they searched this particular house they were not aware that there are kidnappee there terrorist there so the team landed into an encounter with them in which some people died but these three were.
T.N: so, Omar instead of taking them to a farmhouse took them to Ghaziabad and kidnapped them?
Karnal: Three he kept in Ghaziabad he wanted to take them to the village subsequently one he had taken from the different root from Americans but before he could take them out to his farm land Ghaziabad police instruct there and thereafter the police Ghaziabad police and Delhi police they went to that Muzaffarnagar and got the four person also released and this Omar was arrested so he was in jail.
T.N: so, Omar was in jail Aftab Ansari was also in jail who is Asif Raza Khan?
Karnal: Asif Raza Khan I told that he is a person from Calcutta and this Aftab Ansari held from Banaras area and he was a kidnapper he is already kidnapped so one criminal one terrorist and one who wanted to be a terrorist they met in Tihar Jail and they decided that they will start some organization was there get out so these two person Aftab Ansari and Asif Raza Khan in ninety eight ninety nine they get out of the prison.
T.N: they were in prison for four five years have they complete their sentence?
Karnal: completing their sentence they came out and there after they started doing Kidnappings and they earn huge money from the Kidnappings Aftab Ansari shifted to Dubai because ransom call from Dubai was safer Asif Raza Khan will kidnapped in India Aftab Ansari will make ransom call from Dubai the ransom amount will be paid in Dubai and then that amount would be distributed and some amount they will keep themselves for terrorism after they earn sufficient money they both of them went to Pakistan and met Omar.
T.N: Omar that time by that time had gone to Pakistan?
Karnal: Gone back to Pakistan he was shuttling between Pakistan and Afghanistan so through Omar they met Jaish E Mohammad, Lashkar-e- Taiba and leaders and They planned that the Aftab Ansari Asif Raza Khan want support from them for training the people they sent from India In written they wanted that this terrorist organisation wanted there terrorist to be settled in India they are called resident agent so in my book I mentioned one of the resident agent how was he settled in Agra see that men came through Bangladesh side to Calcutta where Aftab Ansari and this Asif Raza Khan prepared false documents for them to show that they are the residents of a village in that area with that Indian identity then they settled him in Agra and he started business there a shoe company he started and once he settled there the arms and ambitions started coming and this way they settled at various places in India now what happened is I forgot to tell you how Omar was released you know about ninety nine Kandahar Hijackings three persons were released in that so Omar was one of them.
T.N: So, Omar was released because of this Kandahar Aircraft that went to Afghanistan he was so important is this the same over whose name also cropped up in the nine eleven attacks in New York or there was no that is different?
Karnal: I think he kidnapped a journalist of UK in Pakistan.
T.N: by the name of is he Daniel Perks so Omar who was basically freed by Hijackers in ninety-nine Kandahar Hijackings later killed Daniel Perks?
Karnal: Yes so they started sending these people settling them here in that process the intelligence agencies and Delhi Police they got Window pit and they arrested the person who was settled in Agra also Asif Raza Khan later on Asif Raza Khan was killed in encounter in Gujrat Amir Raza Khan was younger brother of Asif Raza Khan he immediately as soon as Asif Raza Khan was caught he went to Dubai one when he was killed this Asif Raza Khan was killed in encounter they wanted to take revenge so Aftab Ansari send his team which was in Calcutta to attack American Centre in Calcutta After that he took responsibility.
T.N: So, the American Centre was attacked this was ninety nineties it was two thousand one the American Centre was attacked in Calcutta and Aftab Ansari sitting in Dubai has got this done?
Karnal: Yes, and he took responsibility he claimed responsibility he ranged up Calcutta Police and say I have got it done the American Intelligence Agency traced him and then from Dubai he was extradited to India and he was tried and he has been convicted to be hanged his execution is pending he is at that moment in Calcutta jail
T.N: his execution is pending which means he was sentenced to death?
Karnal: Yes than Amir Raza Khan took the lead of this the Indian Vijahitin and meanwhile because of this American Centre attack lot of leads came and all these people who were settled agents by the terrorist Organisation from Pakistan some of them were arrested and some of them ran away from India so this is how the Indian vijahitin had the genuses and this is whole given in my book.
T.N: So, this is very interesting if you want to know the origin of Indian vijahitin and the person who before starting was caught by Mrs. Karnal Singh when he was DCP in North West to know this whole story you have to read Batla House this book by Mrs. Karnal Singh but we will move ahead after that what happened ninety five onwards where were you posted because ninety three you were posted as DCP North West?
Karnal: see I remained ninety-five to ninety-seven after my DCP North West to DCP vigilance.
T.N: So, what is the vigilance work normally in Delhi?
Karnal: see Vigilance work is there to enquire into allegation of mis deeds by Police Officer.
T.N: Okay it could be financial as well as Non- Financial?
Karnal: Yes, it could be financial and non- financial meanwhile in ninety-six a special task force was made whose work was to take action against the builders who are violating laws we register in some cases I that and started investigating but then if you are aware about incident took place in Connaught place.
T.N: what year ninety-five?
Karnal: Yes, it took place in the march end nineteen ninety-seven in which two innocent police died in a police encounter and as a result then commissioner of police was shifted, new commissioner of police joined and it was decided to shift DCP cram also because it was history.
T.N: I have a query here one encounter and the commissioner was shifted is a very big thing?
Karnal: See dying of an innocent person is a very- very serious issue I was first April nineteen ninety-seven I was at my home it was Sunday so I got a call from New Commissioner of Police.
T.N: Who was New Commissioner of Police?
Karnal: Mrs. TR Kakar so he asked me what are you doing in said sir it is Sunday I am at my home relaxing so he says you come to my office I reached his office he was there in his office Mrs Ranjit Narayan was also there who was the Additional CP crime the DCP crime my was also there in the crime they were sitting there so CP told me immediately take the charge of the crime branch and he also told me something that we have selected you for certain reasons I asked him sir what is the reason he told me that you are a person who will not listen to anybody and we have a case where there is a interference from the political level and very high level and therefore we want somebody who would not even listen to us so I thank them because CP is reposing so much faith in me and I joined the crime branch then.
T.N: so, you were a DCP crime branch in ninety-seven what all work did you because in ninety-seven or ninety-eight there were blast in Delhi so it must have been a very tough posting?
Karnal: See the blast investigation is a very special cell so crime branch is not generally task with that but one day somewhere in ninety seven the commissioner of police asked me to reach to one of the blast side before that there were many blast and I think he wanted a fresh look into that so I went along with me team of crime branch to the blast side and that’s how we start involving and investigating in that case we went through all the blast side I visited to all the blast side we had DCP Additional DCP Alok and ACP was Ravi Shankar again same Ravi Shankar Ashok Vihar we went through every- every piece of evidence which would be available at that place there was no clue various state police was also investigating the case even the CBI was also investigating the some of these cases blast cases so then I proposed a theory to my team that if this person is a terrorist he may be taking directions from Pakistan.