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Updated: March 24, 2013 17:19 IST

Delhi, J&K police spar over Liaquat’s arrest

    Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
    Devesh K. Pandey
    Mohammad Ali
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Kashmiri militant Sayed Liaquat Shah, who was arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy
The Hindu Kashmiri militant Sayed Liaquat Shah, who was arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Omar seeks NIA probe; Delhi Police ask for evidence to back J&K version

The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday stuck to its own story on the arrest of Liaquat by the Delhi Police, and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah spoke to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to seek an investigation into the circumstances of the alleged militant’s detention.

However, refuting the J&K Police’s claim that Liaquat planned to surrender, the Delhi Police sought from them documentary proof to back the assertion, suggesting the allegation seemed politically motivated and a fallout of the situation post-Afzal Guru execution.

“Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, this evening discussed with Home Minister, Sushilkumar Shinde, the issue relating to Sayed Liaquat Shah, who has been arrested by Delhi Police yesterday at Delhi. The Chief Minister emphasised on getting the case thoroughly probed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a time bound manner to establish the facts,” an official release in Srinagar said. Informed sources in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat confirmed the conversation. Mr. Abdullah was not immediately available for comment.

Official sources said Mr. Abdullah spoke to Mr. Shinde after State Police and Home Department officials informed him the Delhi Police were “bent upon establishing their claim of arrest and seizure of AK-56 rifle from a Delhi hotel.” However, it was more than being a case of “egoism,” sources said. It was a matter of concern as the State authorities fear that any Kashmiri militants in Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir who may want to return home would no more trust them. This could have an adverse impact on the State government’s surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy introduced on November 23, 2010.

On Friday, Liaquat broke down before the media in Delhi, claiming he was being framed. The Delhi Police have accused him of being a Hizb-ul Mujahideen terrorist who was part of a conspiracy to avenge the execution of Afzal Guru through attacks in the national capital.

On March 11, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah revealed in the Assembly that there were 3,974 Kashmiri militants in Pakistan and the PoK. Of them, 1,089 had applied for permission to return and surrender. Only 191 applications had been approved. During the period, 241 militants, mostly with Pakistani wives and children, had returned.

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