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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

NIA may not oppose suspected terrorist Liyaqat's bail plea

PTI  New Delhi, May 14, 2013
First Published: 19:49 IST(14/5/2013) | Last Updated: 19:51 IST(14/5/2013)

The National Investigating Agency (NIA) may not oppose bail application of suspected Hizbul Mujahideen militant Liyaqat Shah, who was arrested by Delhi Police for his alleged role in a conspiracy to carry out terror attacks in the Capital.

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The NIA, which took over the case on the direction of home ministry after Shah's arrest on March 28 had generated conflicting versions from Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir Police, has already interrogated him.

Sources said no evidence about Shah's involvement has been found by the NIA officials during his interrogation.

Forty five-year-old Shah, who was arrested by Delhi Police Special Cell on March 20 from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, had Monday approached a special NIA court here seeking bail. The court will hear the matter Wednesday.

Shah was claimed to be arrested by Delhi Police on March 15.

The court had on April 26 sent Shah to NIA's custody for five days after the agency had said they needed to take Shah to Sunauli border, one of India-Nepal crossing points near Gorakhpur, from where he was allegedly arrested.

Early this month, Shah was sent to judicial custody till May 18 after the NIA told a court that they did not require his further custodial interrogation.

Shah's arrest has brought to fore differences between Delhi Police and Jammu and Kashmir Police giving conflicting versions over his arrest.

While Delhi Police had claimed to have foiled a fidayeen (suicide) attack in New Delhi ahead of Holi with his arrest, the Jammu and Kashmir Police insisted he was one of those who had exfiltrated in 1990s and returned to India to surrender under the state's rehabilitation policy.

The return of Liyaqat, who was claimed by Delhi Police as a member of Hizbul Mujahideen terror group, was known to the authorities in Jammu and Kashmir including the local army formation. Shahs, according to official sources, was coming via Nepal border to surrender.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police had earlier said Shah, a resident of Jammu and Kashmir, had told his interrogators that he is a trained militant of the banned terror group and was settled in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

It had said that based on inputs given by Shah, a huge consignment of arms, hand grenades and explosive material were recovered from a guest house in Jama Masjid area in Delhi. It had said that his associates, including Manzoor, are absconding.

However, NIA has not been able to associate the recovery of arms with Shah's arrest, the sources claimed.

A case has also been registered under sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war against government of India), 121 A (conspiracy to commit offences against the State) and 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war) of IPC against Shah and his associates.

According to Delhi Police, Shah had planned attacks to avenge the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

J-K Police had also supported the claims of Shah's family that he was a former militant who had surrendered before Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) on the Nepal border and was in a group returning from PoK under the rehabilitation policy.


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