The National Investigation Agency (NIA) missed police informer Sabir Khan Pathan, accused of framing former Kashmiri militant Liyaqat Shah in a terror case, by a whisker almost 10 months ago near Bhopal, sources told Hindustan Times on Wednesday.
The agency sleuths swooped on the village dwelling where Pathan was suspected to be hiding, but learnt he was holed up in another house in the area. By the time the raiding party reached the second location, Pathan had escaped.
“The NIA never came this close to Pathan again. It is quite possible that now he may have crossed over to Nepal to hide there,” said an agency official requesting anonymity.
An NIA probe found Pathan, alias Munna – who was living in barrack number two of Delhi police’s special cell quarters for eight years – planted arms, ammunition and explosives at a guesthouse in the Capital’s Jama Masjid area and the weapons were later shown to be recovered on the basis of a statement that Shah never gave.
Delhi police officials said an associate of Shah left the arms and ammunition there.
Pathan’s relatives in Madhya Pradesh’s Shajapur say they have had no contact with him since news channels flashed his name in the case.
“I do not remember the exact date but I lost touch with him. Before the whole controversy broke out, he used to call me at least once a month. That has stopped now,” said Pathan’s father, who has also lodged a missing complaint with local police. “I don’t even know if he is alive or dead. I do not know if he was a police informer. I don’t care; I just hope he is alive.”
NIA sources said if Pathan is arrested he may be asked to turn approver to help unearth the entire conspiracy involving some top Delhi police officials.