Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday decided to hand over Hizbul operative Liyaqat Shah’s case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for a “time-bound speedy probe” in line with demands from J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah.
Shinde took the decision on Monday morning, ahead of the J&K Assembly debating Liyaqat’s arrest. Government sources said the formal orders to transfer the case registered by Delhi Police to the NIA would be issued after completing the formalities.
Home Ministry sources said Liyaqat’s name figures in the list available with New Delhi of around 400 militants in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir who wanted to surrender.
Antecedents of each militant volunteering to come back are checked by the Research & Analysis Wing, Intelligence Bureau and Jammu & Kashmir police before he can set foot on Indian soil. According to the state’s surrender and rehabilitation policy approved by the home ministry, the surrendered militants are expected to come through a third country. Nepal is a favourite due to the open Indo-Nepal border.
According to home ministry sources, the multi agency centre had shared an input generated by the IB office in Srinagar that said a Pok-based militant along with his children reached Nepal on March 19 for onward journey by train to Kashmir to join his family. It said that the unknown terrorist was provided necessary assistance by Nepal-based Kashmiri Younis who has close contacts with Pakistan embassy officials in Kathmandu.
The input was shared with the Delhi Police on March 22 but they had already arrested Liyaqat.