One-upmanship among intelligence agencies and state police is not uncommon but the attack on CRPF camp in Srinagar and the arrest of surrendered militant Liaquat Shah from Nepal border last month reveals that this unhealthy competition can at times is detrimental in maintaining peace in Jammu and Kashmir.
Investigations into the Lashkar-e-Taiba fidayeen attack on CRPF camp in Srinagar on March 13 and Delhi Police swoop down to arrest Liaquat Shah at Sanauli post on Nepal border on March 20 showed a lack of synergy between the intelligence agencies and state police’ with both often working at cross-purposes.
While the security establishment is tight-lipped about finer details of CRPF attack, it now transpires that Ahmad Bashir Mir, the Uri resident who helped two Pakistani fidayeen enter India via LoC on March 3, was helped by one of the intelligence units — affiliated to armed forces — after his car broke down outside Srinagar on March 12.
Operating under a code name “Mazloom Kashmiri” (exploited Kashmiri), Mir is known to be a cross-border source and had been an agent of military and other intelligence agencies on both sides of the LoC.
“The two fidayeen were brought by Mir to Srinagar on March 9 and were not present in Mir’s car when it broke down,” said a senior official.
Mir’s treachery and the failure of armed forces to send an alert on the impending terror attack has now prompted a review of policy towards trans-border sources and the need to share information with sister agencies.
The messy case of Liaquat Shah is no different — a product of multiple cloak and dagger operations. It is evident now that an official of Indian Intelligence agencies was present to direct the waiting Delhi Police team onto Shah as he crossed the Nepal border.
The Delhi Police on its part have claimed that the entire operation was planned by its special cell and intelligence had no role in Shah’s arrest.
“It was Delhi Police’ faith in the intelligence operative at Sanauli that they arrested Liaquat Shah despite serious reservations by J&K state police and the Intelligence Bureau,” said a senior official.