Arrest of "terrorist" exposes maze of questions that need answers

Arrest of 'terrorist' exposes maze of questions that need answers
New Delhi/Srinagar:  Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today asked Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to assign the case of alleged terrorist Sayyed Liyaqat Shah to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The police forces of Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi have vastly different versions of why Liyaqat entered India via the Nepal border three days ago.

The Delhi Police, which arrested him on March 20, said it had received a tip-off in February that Liyaqat was headed to Delhi to execute a terror strike on the instructions of the Hizbul Mujahideen.

It says it intercepted Liyaqat in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh and that he then confessed that arms and ammunition were waiting for him in a guest house in Delhi. An AK-56 assault rifle, two magazines with 30 cartridges each and three hand grenades were later recovered by the police from there.

But Liyaqat's wife and the Jammu and Kashmir Police say that he was a militant whose return to his home state had been sanctioned by central and state government agencies as part of a surrender and rehabilitation policy offered to those who had crossed into Pakistan, did not participate in terror-related activities, and wanted to resettle in Kashmir.

At a police station in Kupwara district, 150 kms from Srinagar, Liyaqat's wife Akhtar Nisa today said that her husband has been falsely implicated as a terrorist. She said he travelled with her daughter and her on Pakistani passports to the Nepal border.

"We came through a plane upto Kathmandu. But he was arrested at the Nepal border. They later put our luggage in a vehicle and he (Liyaqat) was separated from us," she said.

In Kashmir, Leader of the Opposition Mehbooba Mufti said Kashmiris are arrested without evidence and treated as "fodder for rewards and medals."

But the Delhi Police claims that it has yet to receive any written communication from the Jammu and Kashmir police about Liyaqat's case. It also says that if Liyaqat had been allowed to return as part of the amnesty plan for militants, no information had been shared with Delhi Police officials, which had informed the Home Ministry about Liyaqat's alleged terror plan. (Read: Liyaqat was not going to surrender in Kashmir, says Delhi Police)

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