Aftab was lodged in Tihar when he met Asif Reza Khan. Asif introduced Aftab to Omar Sheikh who had a profound effect. December, 1999: Government of India was forced to release Omar Sheikh in exchange for the safe return of IC 814. Aftab Ansari, soon after, was issued a Pakistan Passport [J872142, Safir Mohammad Rana]. The birth of the mastermind.25.07.2001, 11:30 AM: Partha Pratim Roy Barman, Director of Khadim Shoe Company, was abducted while on his way to work in his SUV, a Tata Safari. His car was stopped at C.N. Roy Road by 2 miscreants. He was made to wear dark glasses and seated on the rear seat of a Maruti 800. It was a clear case of abduction for ransom [2016 Cri LJ 1159]. Barman was subsequently released on 30.07.2001 after reportedly paying a ransom amount of Rs 3.75 Crore through the ‘hawala’ network. The fact that Aftab gave Rs. 49 Lakhs to Omar Sheikh who passed it on to Mohamad Atta, a mastermind behind the 11.09.2001 terror attack was mentioned in the testimony of John S. Pistole, [Deputy Assistant Director, Counter Terrorism Division, FBI] before the Senate Committee on Terrorist Financing in July, 2003. Asif Reza Khan, in contrast, was taken into custody by Criminal Investigation Department, West Bengal Police on 13.11.2001 in connection with the Barman story. He was then taken on transit remand by the Gujarat Police on 27.11.2001. Asif, while trying to escape, was gunned down near Rajkot. It was decided his death should be avenged.
7:58 AM: 2 unidentified gunmen, riding on a yellow motorcycle [DL-3S Z-7341], shot dead the Defence Minister. Is reportage ever complete? Life isn’t Rang De Basanti, after all. 22.01.2002, 06:30 AM: Zahid wore a chocolate colour jacket and Sadakat wore a green colour jacket. They rode a black Suzuki motorcycle [WB-01 P-2144]. SC noted, “such a meticulous description of men and material, date, time and events including passwords [7days13harj] and e-mail addresses [email@example.com] could have been revealed only by a person who was really acquainted with those details. It is very difficult for anyone to imagine these facts and put it in a narrative form”. SC also commented, “the offences are devilish, diabolic, horrendous, vicious, wicked” [(2014) 7 SCC 443]. 18 years since the attack at American Centre, 38A, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata!
“Kumar Saab!” Mr. Rajeev Kumar, Special Superintendent of Police (Criminal Investigation Department), West Bengal didn’t take any time to recognize, having heard his recorded voice earlier. “Yes, Aftab.” And the line went dead. Aftab Ansari did claim responsibility.
He was arrested at Dubai International Airport on 23.01.2002. He is serving Life Imprisonment at Alipore Central Correctional Home, Kolkata. 2018: 2 smartphones and 8 SIM cards were seized from Aftab Ansari. 2019/2020: Special Task Force, Kolkata Police has decided to send him to Tihar.