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‘Terror’ not ruled out in NIA officer’s killing

Two unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants shot dead a National Investigation Agency (NIA) official, who was part of several terror probe cases related to Indian Mujahideen. His wife was critically wounded in the shoot-out

‘Terror’ not ruled out in NIA officer’s killing
NIA officer Tanzil Ahmad

New Delhi

The brutal assault took place in the early hours of Sunday when the couple was returning home from a wedding near this Uttar Pradesh town. 

The assailants pumped as many as 24 bullets into Mohd. Tanzil Ahmad and four into his wife Farzana, as their 14-year old daughter and 12-year old son watched the gruesome incident from the back seat of the Wagon-R car they were travelling in, police said, adding the children were not injured. Ahmad was returning home in Sahaspur village of Bijnor district with his family after attending his niece’s wedding in another nearby village in the same district, which is about 150 km from Delhi. 

Police termed the killing of Ahmad, posted as Inspector initially with the NIA’s intelligence wing and later in its investigation department, as a “planned attack” and did not rule out the possibility of a terror angle behind the shootout. Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters in Lucknow that he had been apprised of the incident. 

“Whatever necessary is being done. We are talking (to NIA officials),” Singh said. Police suspect that Ahmad’s movements were being tracked by the assailants who used at least one 9mm pistol in the shoot-out. 

“Tanzil Ahmad was shot dead by two motorcycle borne persons when he was returning after attending a marriage ceremony with his wife Farzana,” IG (Law and Order) of UP Police, Bhagwan Swaroop said. 

The incident took place at 12.45 am when Ahmed, earlier posted as an assistant commandant in BSF and on deputation to NIA, was returning to Sahaspur from the wedding ceremony. Ahmad (45), who has been with the NIA ever since the organisation was formed in February 2009, had been investigating many cases especially related to banned Indian Mujahideen terror outfit. 

His superiors termed him as a thorough professional in intelligence gathering as well as investigation. According to the police, Ahmad left his home in the evening along with his family to attend a marriage at a guest-house at Sohara village. On their way back, their vehicle was stopped barely 200 metres from his home by two youths who fired at a very close range. In New Delhi, NIA IG Sanjeev Kumar termed it as a “planned attack” and said, “One of our officers, a very brave officer Mohammad Tanzil Ahmad had gone home to attend a function on Saturday night when he was fired upon.” 

Ahmad was taken a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. Additional Director General of Police Daljit Chowdhry said, “nothing can be ruled out,” when asked whether there was a possibility of terror angle behind the attack.

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