The middle-aged man arrested for his alleged role in a potential terror strike in the capital, if sources are to be believed, had been asked to execute one as a ‘final favour’ for his handlers in Pakistan.
Syed Liyaqat Ali Shah, in his late 40s, apparently told interrogators that though the strike he had been deputed to execute was somewhat in the pipeline and was not to be executed in the immediate future, he had been entrusted with it since he had risen to the rank of a company commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen over two decades.
“His phone records show that he was not only in touch with senior commanders of Hizbul, but also used to interact with their relatives on a regular basis to keep the former off the radar of Indian intelligence agencies,” said an officer.
“Before he crossed over, he was told that he had to supervise this strike as somewhat of a last favour for the people who had first trained him, then promoted him to a divisional commander and finally to a company commander,” said another officer.
Intelligence sources claimed Shah was just one of five more people belonging to north India-based sleeper cells of the Hizbul and was tasked with the execution of a 13/12 Parliament attack-kind siege in the coming month.
Meanwhile, the special cell, on Sunday, released a sketch of the man who allegedly deposited arms, ammunition and plastic-based explosives at the Haji Arafat guest house in Jama Masjid for Shah.
Apart from intelligence inputs received from Central agencies, Delhi Police sources claimed, a day before Shah’s arrest the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) of the home ministry had also given them an input that a Pakistan-based terrorist and some of his associates had reached the Indo-Nepal border to carry out some ‘suspicious activities’. The agency behind the input, however, had not specifically pointed fingers at Shah’s involvement in a terror plot. But sources said that MAC had, in fact, notified its special cell that Shah were being provided logistical support.