Millennium Post

Omar takes on Centre, says would militant bring wife, kids for attack

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has taken on the Centre once again, this time over the arrest of alleged Hizbul Mujahideen militant Sayed Liyaqat Shah. Abdullah, whose party participates in the UPA government at the Centre, accused it on Monday of being unfair to J&K.

He used another strong speech in the state Assembly to also reiterate his demand that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFPSA be removed from the Valley.

‘When I talk about revoking AFSPA, you don’t want to take the risk, but you hang Afzal (Guru). Why don’t you have the courage to revoke AFSPA,’ he said, adding, ‘Naxals blow up a helicopter, but you don’t impose AFSPA there, There are no helicopters shot down in Kashmir, but you have a different yardstick for J&K.’ He was referring to Maoists shooting down a military helicopter in Chhattisgarh earlier this year.’

Abdullah said the arrest of Liyaqat Shah had set back the J&K government’s programme to rehabilitate former militants. Shah, he said, was not headed to Delhi to carry out terror attacks. ‘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. When militants come they carry grenades and guns in hands, Liyaqat was returning with his wife and children, we have taken up the issue with Centre, because we know if wrong is done with Liyaqat, others who want to take benefit of surrender policy will hold back.’

At Abdullah’s instance, the Centre has handed an investigation into the controversial arrest of Shah to the National Investigative Agency or the NIA.

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

The Delhi Police, which arrested him on 20 March,  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.
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