We were waiting for his surrender, say J&K police

The Jammu and Kashmir Police are believed to have rejected the Delhi Police’s claim of recovery of an AK-47 rifle from Kashmiri militant Liaquat Ali Shah alias Kaka Khan, claiming that they were waiting for his surrender when he was allegedly arrested near Gorakhpur, close to the India-Nepal border.

Highly placed sources told The Hindu that the Delhi Police were “under pressure” to hand over the detained militant to the J&K Police after the senior State Police officials in Jammu communicated to the Home Ministry that the story carried by the media regarding Liaquat’s arrest was “not perfectly correct.” The J&K Police officials are understood to have claimed that they were informed of Liaquat’s arrival at Kathmandu and his desire to surrender before Kupwara District Police 15 days ago.

“We had been informed of his [Liaquat’s] arrival along with his wife, son and daughter by air via Nepal some 15 days ago by his family members and other sources managing his surrender,” senior police officials said.

“We made it clear to the family that we could accept only the surrender of the militants who return from Pakistan and PoK, alone or along with their families, through the routes designated in the 2010 surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy of the State government. We made it clear to them that Nepal and Gorakhpur routes are not covered in the policy. But when they insisted, we decided to accept his surrender with the condition that he would not be entitled to the benefits of the surrender policy. Thereafter, we kept waiting for him till we got the news of his arrest by Delhi Police,” top ranking sources in the J&K Police said. According to them, seizure of AK-47 rifle and grenades from the detained militant at a hotel in Delhi was “doubtful.”

Director-General of J&K Police, Ashok Prasad, refused to comment. “This case is being handled by the Delhi Police,” he told The Hindu. He said that J&K Police CID was in touch with the Delhi Police on details about the detained militant.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Kupwara, Mohammad Irshad too declined to comment on the militant’s surrender and arrest. He, however, said that Liaquat of Dardpora village crossed the LoC and joined a militant training camp in PoK in 1995. According to him, he returned in 1996, remained active as a militant for about a year and went back to Pakistan in 1997. “In police records, he is missing since 1997 and married a Pakistani woman.” He said that there was no criminal case registered against him at any police station in Kupwara district.