Millennium Post

Now, NIA will probe Liyaqat arrest row

Delhi police officials who were involved in the operation to arrest alleged Hizbul Mujahideen operative, Liyaqat Ali Shah, are likely to be questioned by the National Investigating Agency (NIA). The Union Home Ministry on Monday asked the NIA to enquire into the circumstances under which he was arrested.

The decision was taken after contradictions came up in the versions given by the Delhi police and their Srinagar counterparts on the arrest.

Condemning the arrest, four members of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly on Monday gave notice for an adjournment motion. J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah had asked for an NIA probe on Sunday. On Monday, Omar Abdullah said the Delhi police has failed to explain how a man 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 other hand, as if going for a picnic.’

Delhi police, on the other hand, who reportedly nabbed Liyaqat as soon as he reached Gorakhpur on 20 March, are not entirely convinced by the arguments put forth from Jammu and Kashmir. Since a large cache of arms and ammunition was seized during a raid at the Arafat guest house in Jama Masjid area of the Old City, Delhi police are certain that Liyaqat Shah was part of a Hizbul plan to carry out suicide attacks at two shopping malls and crowded market places in the capital around the time of Holi. Delhi police, in its report to the home ministry, reportedly claimed that they had information that Liyaqat would stay at the hotel in Jama Masjid that was eventually raided by them. ‘They intended to wait for him to reach the hotel, but then decided to pick him up from Gorakhpur itself,’ said a home ministry official.

Intelligence Bureau, meanwhile, has distanced itself from the issue. IB officials are saying they hadn’t given any input to the Delhi police on Liyaqat.
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