20 February 2020
New Delhi: When the Parliament attack occurred on December 13, 2001, then Delhi Police Commissioner Ajay Raj Sharma reveals that he had no time to think and plan a counter-operation and just rushed towards the Parliament.
"Something unthinkable had happened. There was no time to think and plan. I ran out of my office and headed straight to the Parliament," Sharma writes in his book, "Biting the Bullet", released on Thursday.
It was on his way, that he "called the control room and directed it to ensure that a couple of armed companies reached the Parliament immediately." Sharma recalls that he could not want to even "imagine the colossal damage the terrorists could potentially cause".
"As I was approaching the Parliament, I could still hear some shots being fired. When I reached the scene, a number of dead bodies of terrorists, and civilians and police alike, lay scattered at different places in the complex," he wrote.
Sharma then said that when he went inside and met Home Minister L.K. Advani, who was present with the Lok Sabha Speaker (G.M.C. Balayogi) in his chamber, and both of them were in state of shock.
He highlighted that the security men at Parliament fought bravely. "Four security men lost their lives, but they not only saved the day for us but also helped the government from a lot of embarrassment," he said.
The former Commissioner of Police then asserts in his book how Mohammad Afzal Guru was found to be the one of the main conspirators of the attack. "On being subjected to intensive interrogation, Mohammad Afzal disclosed that he used to visit Delhi for business regularly."
In February 2001, he was contacted by Tariq, a close associate of Pakistani national Ghazi Baba, who was supreme commander of the Jaish-e-Mohammad in India. "According to him, Tariq motivated him to join JeM. He took him to Ghazi Baba, who had his base in Abu Hills, Pahalgam. Ghazi Baba informed Mohamamd Afzal that under pressure from the ISI chief both Masood Azhar of JeM and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi of LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba)had joined forces," Sharma writes.
He said that the ISI had issued directions to them to carry out a fidayeen attack in Delhi. "Ghazi Baba directed Mohammad Afzal to go back to Delhi and set up a base. Consequently, Mohammad Afzal came to Delhi," he asserts.
Sharma then contended that after coming to Delhi, Afzal motivated Shaukat Hussain and Syed Abdul Rehman Gilani to be part of conspiracy for conduct of the fidayeen attack.
He then narrated how the case was cracked and perpetrators were booked.