The trouble over the arrest of Liyaqat Shah resonated in the J&K assembly on Monday. Questioning if a terrorist ever took his wife and child along on an attack mission, an agitated chief minister Omar Abdullah said former militants from Pakistan can come back to India via Nepal.
"I am hearing for the first time that a militant came to attack holding the hand of his wife and carrying weapons in his other hand, as if going for a picnic," Abdullah said.
Abdullah's comment questions the Delhi police claim that Liyaqat - who was arrested from Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, on March 20 - was to supervise recruits for terror strikes in Delhi on the instructions of the Hizbul Mujahideen. The J&K government has already said he was coming to India under its rehabilitation policy.
Abdullah, who has demanded a probe by the National Investigation agency into the matter, said the Nepal route was approved after Pakistan refused to allow militants to come to India through four identified entry points, especially the two along of control. "So Liyaqat was coming via Nepal, which is now an approved route," he said.
The four identified entry points include Uri-Muzaffarabad, Poonch-Rawalakote, Wagah (Punjab) and the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi.
Liyaqat's arrest is a set-back to the state government's programme to rehabilitate former militants, Abdullah said. Under the rehabilitation policy announced in 2010, over 100 former militants had returned to Kashmir.
"We have taken up the issue with Centre, because we know if wrong is done with Liyaqat, others who want to avail the benefit of surrender policy will hold back," Abdullah said.
Omar accuses Central govt of bias
Accusing the Centre of adopting a "different yardstick" for J&K, Omar Abdullah questioned its "pick and choose" policy over Afzal Guru hanging and revoking of AFSPA. "When I talk about revoking AFSPA, you don't want to take the risk, but you hang Afzal (Guru). Why don't you have the courage to revoke AFSPA... After hanging of Afzal Guru, you cannot bring him back, but after removal of AFSPA, you can reimpose it."
(With PTI inputs)