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‘Can’t link Shah with terror plan’

Delhi police claimed Liyaqat Shah planned suicide attack in city around Holi; NIA fails to find any link.

delhi Updated: May 17, 2013 23:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said there is “no substantial link” to prove the involvement of suspected Hizbul militant Liyaqat Shah in the conspiracy to carry out terror attacks in the national Capital.

Following this conclusion, a Delhi court on Friday granted bail to Shah two months after his arrest for allegedly planning terrorist attacks in Delhi.

The court of District judge IS Mehta, however, said Shah, slapped with stringent charges, including waging war against the nation, will not leave India without its permission. This is the first time that an accused has been granted bail in a case being investigated by the NIA.

The special cell of the Delhi police had arrested 45-year-old Shah on March 20 while he was crossing the Indo-Nepal border in Gorakhpur with his family.

“No substantial evidence has come up against the petitioner to date and the NIA failed to make out a prima facie case against the present petitioner/ accused to date,” the judge said.

While the Delhi Police had claimed they had foiled a ‘fidayeen’ (suicide) attack ahead of Holi festival with his arrest, the J&K insisted he was one of those who had ex-filtrated in the 1990s and returned to India to surrender under the state’s rehabilitation policy.

Expressing happiness at Shah’s release on bail, J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said: “I welcome it and now I hope that the NIA completes its investigation as soon as possible”.

Opposing Liyaqat’s bail plea, the NIA said that its investigation was on and detailed examination of call records, examination of witnesses and other “allied activities” were continuing to conclusively establish the guilt of the accused.

First Published: May 17, 2013 23:17 IST