Everything you need to know about the attack on NIA officer Tanzil Ahmed

Everything you need to know about the attack on NIA officer Tanzil Ahmed

This killing is yet to create the kind of noise on a news-heavy day that it should have.

By Subhabrata Dasgupta

Published on :

In what is now being called a ‘pre-planned attack’ by investigators, National Investigation (NIA) Officer Tanzil Ahmed, who was reportedly handling important investigations relating to the Indian Mujahideen (IM), was shot dead by unidentified assailants in the early hours of Sunday, in the Bijnor district of Western Uttar Pradesh.

The officer was returning from a family wedding with his wife and two children, when the attack took place. According to this Economic Times report, Ahmed was shot at barely 50 metres away from a police post, by two masked assailants on motorbikes who opened fire at the car in which the family was travelling.

Ahmed, who was at the wheel of the car, was shot 24 times and died on the spot while his wife, who suffered three bullet injuries, is said to be “critical”, but “out of danger”, with “not much damage to vital organs”.

The two children, aged 14, and 12, miraculously survived the attack, as they had cowered in the backseat.

According to the Economic Times report quoted above, the NIA and UP police are probing the case and the footage from a nearby CCTV camera may prove to be key. Eyewitness accounts of Ahmed’s children will also be crucial. While investigations are still on, the ‘terror angle’ is not being ruled out as yet, as Ahmed was not known to have any personal enemies. The Hindu’s report describes Ahmed as a “friendly neighbor” and a “devout Muslim”.

Ahmed was an officer of the rank of Deputy Superintendent. He was on deputation to NIA, from the Border Security Force (BSF).  He served as a liaison officer during the visit of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan that visited India as a part of the investigation into the Pathankot attack.

The fatal attack largely went under-reported in the Indian media, even as the T20 World Cup final, actor Pratyusha Banerjee’s suicide and the Panama leaks, dominated headlines. Interestingly, sections of Pakistani media highlighted the fact that Ahmed was a “Muslim inspector”. One website even went on to theorise that the officer was eliminated by “those ‘doubtful’ Indians who actually came to know during the course of investigations of the drama of the ‘False Flag Operation’ at Pathankot.”