Probe arrest of Hizbul terrorist, govt tells NIA

Last Updated 25 March 2013, 20:26 IST

The Centre on Monday accepted the Jammu and Kashmir government’s demand for an investigation into the arrest of suspected Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Liyaqat Shah and asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to conduct the probe.

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told journalists that he had asked the NIA to probe into the circumstances leading to the arrest of Shah. Jammu and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday called up Shinde and demanded “a speedy and time-bound probe” into the conflicting versions of the cops of his state and the Delhi Police about Shah and his arrest.

The ruling National Conference moved an adjournment motion in the Assembly but it was rejected by the Speaker. The Delhi Assembly, too, witnessed uproar over the issue, as BJP leader V K Malhotra welcomed the arrest of Shah and Rashtriya Janata Dal MLA from Okhla, Asif Mohammed Khan, condemned the role of the cops.

The Delhi Police on March 20 arrested Shah at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh and claimed that he was working for the Hizbul Mujahideen, which had planned to carry out terrorist attacks in the national capital on or before the Holi festival on Wednesday. The Special Cell of the Delhi Police had also claimed that the arrest of Shah had foiled the terrorist outfit’s plan to carry out a suicide attack in the capital.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police, however, corroborated the claim of Shah’s wife Ameena Begum and other members of his family that the 47-year-old former militant had in fact surrendered before the Sashastra Seema Bal at Sanauli near the Nepal-India border recently.

It also claimed that he had accepted the Omar Abdullah government’s rehabilitation package and returned from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) to move to J&K through Nepal.

Shah, a resident of Dardpora village in the Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, had gone to PoK in 1990s and joined the militant outfit.

The Delhi Police, however, contradicted the claim of the Jammu and Kashmir government and claimed that interrogation of Shah had helped cops recover an AK-56 assault rifle, three hand grenades, two magazines with 60 rounds, 220 grams of explosives, a map of the national capital and a memory card from a room in a hotel in the Jama Masjid area of the city. 

Senior officials of the Delhi Police claimed that Shah was involved with the Hizbul Mujahideen plot to carry out a suicide attack in the national capital to avenge the execution of the 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru last month.

The Delhi Police on Sunday  released a sketch of a man who had checked into a guest house in Old Delhi and left an AK-56 and ammunition for Shah.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs is understood to have received from the Jammu and Kashmir government a list of about 90 PoK-based terror operatives.

Terror trail

- Liyaqat Shah was arrested on March 20 from UP
-Delhi cops claimed Shah was working for the Hizbul Mujahideen
-Shah was allegedly planning to carry out terrorist attacks in national capital during Holi.
-Attacks were planned to avenge Afzal Guru’s hanging
-J&K claims Shah had returned to India to surrender under its rehabilitation policy
-Shah had gone to PoK in 1990s and joined militant outfit

(Published 25 March 2013, 12:09 IST)

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