NIA to probe Shah’s arrest

Home Secretary Summons Delhi Police Top Brass



New Delhi, Mar 25: Taking note of the conflicting versions of the Delhi Police and Jammu and Kashmir Police, the Home Ministry on Monday ordered a probe into circumstances leading to the “controversial” arrest of suspected former Al-Badar militant Liyaqat Ali Shah.
The Ministry of Home Ministry (MHA) gave these orders after taking note of the version presented by the Jammu and Kashmir government vis-à-vis Liyaqat Ali Shah and the facts presented by both Delhi Police and Jammu and Kashmir Police.
The ministry’s decision meets the demand of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who had asked for an NIA probe into the issue. Earlier in the day, Union Home Secretary RK Singh summoned Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar and special commissioner of its special cell SN Srivastava over the issue.
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police had claimed that it had foiled a 'Fidayeen (suicide) strike' in the capital with the arrest of Shah on March 20, who, they claimed, was a Hizbul Mujahideen militant who planned attacks to avenge Afzal Guru’s hanging.
However, the Jammu and Kashmir Police have supported the claims of Shah’s family that he was a former Al-Badar militant who had surrendered before SSB at the Sanauli check-post on the Nepal border and was part of a group returning from Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK) as part of the rehabilitation policy of the Jammu and Kashmir government.
As an important confidence building measure, the state government had entered into an understanding with the Home Ministry that any youth who had joined militant ranks in 1990s and wishing to return via Nepal would be allowed to do so provided he surrenders before the Army or police in the Valley.
This way, about 150 former militants have returned to Jammu and Kashmir from PaK after taking the Nepal route in 2011 and around 115 in 2012.
Shah, a resident of Dardpora village in Kashmir’s Kupwara district, was arrested from Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur area when he entered India through the Sunauli checkpost on the India-Nepal border. He had flown to Kathmandu, Nepal, via Karachi in Pakistan.
Sources said Shah's name was number 74 on the police register in Kupwara and his family had applied on February 05, 2011 for his return for rehabilitation. After completing formalities, the local police had forwarded the application to the criminal investigation branch of the Kashmir Police and other departments.
Police were also informed by his family members about his return soon after he left for Kashmir along with his wife and step-daughter last Sunday, they said.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister had yesterday asked Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to hand over Shah's case to National Investigation Agency (NIA) for a “time-bound speedy probe”.
Omar had Saturday discussed Shah’s arrest with Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and had emphasised that the case should be probed by the NIA to establish the facts.
Shah's wife Akthara has said they sold off a piece of land in PaK for Rs 2 lakh which was used for arranging their passports, air tickets and other travel expenses. She also said they wanted to come to India for the welfare and future of their daughter who is deaf and dumb.

Meanwhile, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah Monday said the government of India has ordered an inquiry into the arrest of Liyaqat Ali Shah to be conducted by National Investigation Agency (NIA) that would unveil the truth.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at Radio Kashmir here, Dr Farooq said a Central Minister (Sushilkumar Shinde) has ordered a probe by NIA into the arrest of Shah. “Let NIA investigate the arrest. Let us wait for what is truth,” he said.
Asked about how the fast-track courts in India would help detainees, Union Minister said “many Muslim youth are languishing in various prisons across the country” and such courts will help them to face speedy trails. “It’s a welcome step and can prove beneficial for many youth who are yet to face the trial,” he said.

Delhi Assembly today witnessed uproarious scenes over arrest of Liyaqat Ali Shah, who Delhi Police claimed was a Hizbul Mujahideen militant.
While BJP leader V K Malhotra welcomed arrest of Shah, RJD MLA from Okhla Asif Muhammad Khan slammed it and questioned Delhi Police's role on the issue.
Almost all the BJP legislators protested Khan's comment against police and warned him not to "play politics" on the issue.
"I condemn all those who seem to support Liyaqat. It is a question of Delhi's security. Nobody should play politics on the issue," he said.
Immediately after Malhotra's comment, Khan accused BJP of having soft corner for certain elements who are allegedly trying to create communal tension prompting strong reaction from the opposition members.
Khan demanded a proper inquiry into the whole controversy.  Amid the ruckus, Speaker Yoganad Shastri adjourned the House for 25 minutes. WITH INPUTS FROM PTI

Lastupdate on : Mon, 25 Mar 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 25 Mar 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Mar 2013 00:00:00 IST

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