While a controversy rages around whether Sayed Liyaqat Shah is a
militant who wanted to surrender or a terrorist who wanted to target
Delhi, the government will review the surrender and rehabilitation
policy for militants, sources have told NDTV.
The Centre will
work with state governments to make the surrender policy work better,
the sources said, adding, it is time for a larger policy framework on
surrender and rehabilitation of militants.
Last week's arrest of
Liyaqat by the Delhi Police has created a political firestorm. The
Jammu and Kashmir government says he was a militant who was headed home
from Pakistan as part of an amnesty and rehabilitation scheme for men
who had crossed in Pakistan. The Delhi Police insists that Liyaqat
entered India via Nepal to execute a terror attack in the capital to
coincide with the festival of Holi.
NDTV has accessed documents
purportedly processed by the J&K government that list Liyaqat as
51st among 223 individuals seeking to return to India under the amnesty
scheme to rehabilitate former militants. (Read
The Omar Abdullah
government in J&K says the 45-year-old had applied for return to
Kashmir last year and his name was cleared by all agencies of the state
and central governments after a thorough check confirmed that he did not
participate in terrorist activities. Mr Abdullah has emphasised that
the Liyaqat case could undermine the crucial surrender policy and
discourage others from using it.
The elite National Investigation
Agency or NIA has been handed the case. The agency is expected to seek
Liyaqat's custody. The demand for the NIA probe into the arrest was made
over the weekend by Omar Abdullah.
The chief minister
yesterday also said that the Delhi Police has failed to explain how
Liyaqat, returning to India with his wife and children, was on a terror
mission. "If a man comes to attack a shopping mall, will he come with
his wife and children? I am hearing for the first time that a militant
came to attack holding the hand of his wife and carrying weapons in the
other hand, as if going for a picnic."
Sources say the Centre is
looking for a larger framework for the surrender and rehabilitation of
militants as the controversy over the arrest exemplifies the need for
better coordination amongst agencies. The centre had sanctioned the
amnesty scheme in 2010.
The Delhi Police has said that if Jammu
and Kashmir officials had cleared Liyaqat's return, they failed to
inform anyone else including those manning the border where he crossed
Liyaqat's wife, Akhtar-ul-Nisa, has said that he
flew with her and her teen daughter from an earlier marriage on
Pakistani passports to Kathmandu in Nepal and that he was separated from
them and arrested at the border.
The J&K Police is also
investigating the mystery surrounding the arrest of Liyaqat after his
accomplice Mohammad Ashraf Mir surrendered before the counter
intelligence wing of J&K Police. Mir and Liyaqat had travelled in
the same plane from Pakistan to Kathmandu. Mir is likely to be released
on bail today.
A group of people, who had come from Pakistan,
under the rehab policy are protesting, saying the government has done
nothing for them and they are not even getting any identification card.