Ravindra Mhatre

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Ravindra Hareshwar Mhatre was a 48 years old Indian diplomat in UK who was kidnapped and later murdered in Birmingham in 1984 by British Kashmiri terrorists.

When Mhatre stepped out of a bus, clutching a birthday cake for his daughter Asha, was bundled into a car and held captive for three days in the Alum Rock area of Birmingham,[1] an area with an overwhelmingly Kashmir-British population. His body was found two days after he was kidnapped in a Birmingham suburb. A police spokesman said that the body was found in a farm lane about 20 miles southeast of Birmingham.[2] The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Army claimed responsibility and demanded a ransom of 1 million pounds ($1.84 million) and the release of political prisoners in India.[3] Ravindra Mhatre, was the second-ranking official in India's consular office in Birmingham. It is believed that Mhatre was abducted and killed in an attempt to secure the release from prison of the group’s founder Maqbool Bhat. It is alleged that Ravindra Mhatre, was murdered in Birmingham(UK) by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front. Amanullah Khan, Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), found refuge in Pakistan.[4] Hashim Qureshi, an associate of Amanullah Khan, now in the Netherlands, has described the plotting of the murder in his book "Kashmir: Unveiling the Truth".

Mohammed Riaz and Abdul Quayyam Raja, then 27, were convicted of the murderer of Mhatre. The People's Justice Party (UK), supported by the Mirpuri Pakistanis in the UK was formed specifically to get them released. Its original name was FRAQ - "the Free (Mohammed) Riaz and Quayyam (Raja) campaign". It later changed to "Justice for Kashmir", then the Justice Party", before settling on its final name.[5]

Mohammad Aslam Mirza, 48, a Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) terrorist, living in USA was identified in 2004, using fingerprints on the gun used to murder Mhatre, as one of the men wanted for Mhatre's murder. He had left his wife Sakina Bibi and seven children in Birmingham and left for Pakistan in 1984 [6]

Aslam moved to Pennsylvania, where he married Ann Aslam from Pottsville in 2001, and managed a Pottsville apartment complex.[7]

Mirza, a British citizen, was arrested for overstaying in the US after his visa had expired. Finger-prints revealed that he was a member of the JKLF, and was wanted for the kidnap and murder of Mr Mhatre. Mirza told the court he was not involved in the murder and said that he was appalled by the charges and had no recollection of the events of 1984 due to severe memory problems. He told the court that after the killing he had gone to Kashmir on family business.[8] The Birmingham Crown court later acquitted on Dec. 4, 2005 Mohammad Aslam Mirza from three charges — murder, kidnapping and the false imprisonment of Ravindra Mhatre.

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