After 20 years Mohammad Aslam charged for murder of  Mr Mhatre, Deputy High Commissioner
Mhatre was kidnapped and killed in 1984 by members of the Kashmir
Liberation Front, a group fighting for the separation of Kashmir from India.

London, Nov. 05, 2004
NRI press

A man is due in court charged with the murder of an Indian diplomat in 1984. Mohammad Aslam is also accused of the kidnap and false imprisonment of 48-year-old Ravindra Mhatre in Birmingham.

Mr Mhatre, the Deputy High Commissioner at the Indian High Commission in the city, was seized by a group demanding the release of Kashmiri prisoners.

His body was found at a Leicestershire farm on 5 February 1984. Mr Aslam, 49, is due to appear before magistrates in Birmingham on Thursday.

A group calling itself the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the kidnap.

It had called for the release of Kashmiri separatist Maqbool Bhat in India, but when the Indian authorities refused, the kidnappers carried out their threat to kill Mr Mhatre.

Mr Bhat was subsequently hanged for alleged terrorist offences. Two men were sentenced to prison in February 1985 for Mhatre's murder

US Officials Link Man to 1984 Killing


HARRISBURG, Pa, March 04, 2004


A British citizen held in Pennsylvania on immigration charges is wanted for the kidnapping and murder of an Indian diplomat in England in 1984, officials said Thursday.

Mohammad Aslam, 48, was identified by fingerprints as the man wanted in the shooting death of Ravindra Mhatre in Birmingham, England, said Mike Gilhooly, a spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Aslam has been held in a county prison in southeastern Pennsylvania since July on the immigration charges.

"We learned about the warrant in the summer of 2003 as we were making arrangements for (deportation) with authorities from the United Kingdom," Gilhooly said.

British officials said Mhatre was kidnapped and killed in 1984 by members of the Kashmir Liberation Front, a group fighting for the separation of Kashmir from India.

Mhatre "apparently was kidnapped, taken to a field and he was shot," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Daryl F. Bloom, who is handling Aslam's deportation case.

Aslam was born in Kashmir and became a British citizen as a boy. According to court records, he moved to England in 1970 and returned to Kashmir in 1985.

Aslam moved to Pennsylvania, where he married a woman from Pottsville in 2001, and managed a Pottsville apartment complex.

Following a July meeting in Philadelphia with immigration authorities, Aslam was arrested for overstaying his 90-day visa.

Gunnar L. Armstrong, a lawyer for Aslam in the immigration case, said Thursday he was unaware of the murder charge until being contacted by a reporter.

It was unclear whether Aslam would be extradited to England. Police offices in Birmingham, England, were closed late Thursday and no one was available for comment.

Ann Aslam laughed deeply when a reporter told her of her husband's arrest warrant.

"I don't believe that. I don't have any knowledge of it, but I don't believe it," she said.