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Liyaqat's second wife gives first-hand account of arrest

Srinagar, March 23, 2013 (IANS): 19:31 IST
Syed Liyaqat Shah was arrested when he crossed into Indian territory from Nepal to surrender under Jammu and Kashmir's rehabilitation policy. His second wife spoke to the media Saturday on reaching her husband's ancestral home.

Akhtar-ul-Nisa, 47, Liaquat's second wife, whom he married in Pakistan, has reached her husband's ancestral home in Dardpora village, in north Kashmir's Kupwara district, 105 kilometres from here.

Jabeena, 14, the deaf and dumb daughter of Akhtar-ul-Nisa from her previous husband is also with her.

Talking to media persons, Akhtar-ul-Nisa said she had landed in Nepal from Pakistan with her husband and daughter; the family had Pakistani passports.

"Liaquat came to surrender before the authorities in Jammu and Kashmir after the application of his family for his rehabilitation under the state government's policy was approved by authorities," she said.

"We were arrested near the Nepal-India border and told to show our identity cards. We told the police we had no identity cards, but carried Pakistani passports. They did not listen to us and arrested Liaquat, even after we clearly told them that authorities had approved Liaquat's return under the rehabilitation policy."

She also said since Liaquat had not even reached Delhi when he was arrested, there was no question of any arms being recovered from his hotel room in Delhi, as was reported in some sections of the media.

Akhtar-ul-Nisa is a Kashmiri who had crossed over to Pakistan along with her deaf and dumb daughter in 2005.

Her previous husband, who she accepted had been a militant, was killed in a gunfight with the security forces before she crossed the line of control (LoC).

She said she married Liaquat, whom she met in Pakistan. He too had been married earlier. Ameena Begum, Liaquat's first wife, lives in Dardpora village along with her two sons, 21-year-old Shabir and 15-year-old Saddam.

Akhtar-ul-Nisa and her daughter are now living with the rest of Liaquat's family in Dardpora.

Some village elders, including the local sarpanch, accompanied the family when they were called to the local police station in the morning Saturday. Jammu and Kashmir has been offering, for about two years, the opportunity to former militants to surrender and gain rehabilitation in society. About 50 people have availed the opportunity to return to the mainstream so far.

Delhi Police had Friday announced the arrest of Liaquat at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh on suspicion of being a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist.

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