English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

NIA attaches property of Mushtaq Zargar amid big crackdown on terror

Mushtaq Zargar aka Latram was released following hijacking of IC 814 plane

Thirty-one years after his arrest by the Border Security Force (BSF) and over 23 years after his release in exchange for the hostages of the Indian Airlines flight 814 at Kandahar, Afghanistan, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has attached and sealed the residential house of the designated terrorist and Al-Umar Mujahideen founder Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar a.k.a Latram in downtown Srinagar.

According to an order dated 13 February 2023, Latram’s house on 2 marlas of land in Khasra No: 182, recorded as ‘Aabadi Deh’ in the Revenue records and under possession of his family at Gani Mohalla, near Jamia Masjid, in Srinagar, has been attached. Officials said that the house was physically sealed under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the early hours of Thursday, 2 March 2023.


Son of a coppersmith in Nowhatta area of downtown Srinagar, the hub of pro-Pakistan politics and insurgency, 22-year-old Latram joined the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in 1989. He was allegedly an accomplice of JKLF’s Yasin Malik and other militants when they kidnapped the then Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s daughter, Dr Rubaiya Sayeed, on way to her home from Lal Ded Hospital on 8 December 1989.

Prime Minister VP Singh’s government released 5 of the detained militants in exchange for Rubaiya on 13 December 1989, triggering celebrations across the valley.

In 1991, Latram broke away from the JKLF and floated his own militant organisation, Al-Umar Mujahideen, which operated mainly in downtown Srinagar and drew cadres from the traditional ideological and political supporters of the influential Mirwaiz family. In terrorism, Latram became a household name after an alleged informer of security forces, Tehseen Billa, was blown into pieces with IEDs tied on his body in broad daylight. Many people in Srinagar believed that he used to fire at the security forces with two AK-47 rifles simultaneously.

Latram was, however, arrested from his neighbourhood by BSF without any resistance on 15 May 1992. He was booked under TADA and other anti-terror laws and detained in different jails for over seven years. For some years, he remained lodged in Jammu’s Kot Bhalwal Jail with the Harkat-ul-Ansar supremo Maulana Masood Azhar who later founded Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

On 31 December 1999, Latram, along with Masood Azhar and the British national Ahmed Omar Sayeed, were flown from New Delhi to Kandahar, Afghanistan, and released by Atal Behari Vajpayee’s government in exchange for the hostages of the Indian Airlines flight IC-814 which was hijacked from Kathmandu. After hiding in Afghanistan for some time, Azhar, Sayeed and Latram are known to have settled in Pakistan where Azhar launched JeM. Sayeed was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 for the brutal killing of Daniel Pearl, an American journalist working with The Wall Street Journal.


Latram’s organisation Al-Umar Mujahideen, which has virtually ceased to exist after most of its cadre were killed or arrested, stands incorporated as a banned terror group in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and across the country. MHA has already declared Latram as a designated individual terrorist as his name figures in the list of over 50 such persons. Officials said that in addition to Rubaiya Sayeed kidnapping, which has been investigated and challaned by the CBI, Latram is wanted in over a dozen cases of murder and terror funding  under investigation with the NIA.

Also Read: NIA raids 14 locations in J&K to root out terror modules