NEW DELHI: Indian intelligence agencies have confirmed that the man killed by unidentified assailants in Sunsari, Nepal, last week was indeed Indian Mujahideen operative Khursheed Alam Ansari, wanted for harbouring and facilitating top terrorists of the outfit including Dr Shahnawaz Alam and Bada Sajid after they escaped from India in May 2009.

Khursheed’s violent end has capped consistent and long-drawn efforts by the Indian agencies to get their Nepalese counterparts to hand him over.

Khursheed’s primary contact in Indian Mujahideen was Shakir, resident of Azamgarh, UP and brother of IM absconder Bada Sajid. Khursheed and Shakir were both alumni of Jamiat-ul-Islah madarasa in Saraimeer, Azamgarh. It was on the recommendation of Shakir that Khursheed helped Dr Shahnawaz Khan, Bada Sajid, Abu Rashid, Khalid and Mohd Salman — all linked to a series blasts across Delhi, Varanasi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Faizabad — find safe haven in Bhutaha, Sunsari. Khursheed, a local politician who had developed a valid cover for his subversive activities by setting up a boarding school in Sunsari and running his NGO Dawa Islah from there, also facilitated the fugitives in procuring Nepalese identity papers, nagarikta card and passport, which helped them travel further to Pakistan, purportedly via the Gulf.

Khursheed’s role in creating a safe have for Indian Mujahideen fugitives in Nepal following the busting of its key module in Batla House encounter, was uncovered during the interrogation of Mohd Salman alias Chhotu, an IM terrorist arrested by UP ATS on March 10, 2010.

As per interrogation report of Mohd Salman, during their stay at Bada Sajid’s house following the Batla House encounter, Dr Shahnawaz talked to Shakir about sanctuary in Nepal. Shakir offered to tap his contacts in Nepal and got in touch with Khursheed. Shakir later also travelled to Nepal to meet Khursheed and explore shelter for IM fugitives there.

Meanwhile, Abu Rashid, an aide of Shahnawaz and accused in 7/11 Mumbai train blasts, also reached Bada Sajid’s house and showed his willingness to go to Nepal. Shakir arranged a Maruti belonging to a relative Jamir Bhai for Rashid’s safe passage to Nepal. In the second visit, Shakir took Shahnawaz, Bada Sajid and Abu Rashid to Nepal, crossing the border in the intervening night of May 15-16, 2009. They started from Sanjarpur in Jamir Bhai’s Maruti car, travelled through Muzaffarnagar-Azamgarh-Gorakhpur-Khadi wala Rasta to Barhni on Indo-Nepal border. Jamir Bhai returned to Azamgarh in the same vehicle. The others took a local bus travelling through Butwal-Inerwa-Bhutaha. After dropping the three IM fugitives at Khursheed’s place in Bhutaha, Shakir travelled back to Azamgarh. After a day’s rest, he took Khalid and Mohd Salman in the same car via the same route to Bhutaha.

While Shahnawaz, Abu Rashid and Bada Sajid stayed at Khursheed’s residence, Khalid and Mohd Salman started staying at Ryan National School, owned by Khursheed. Around 150-200 students were in boarding there, apart from 5 regular teachers.