Delhi cops' 'fidayeen' Liyaqat Shah is ex-militant travelling with family


The Special Cell of Delhi Police Friday claimed to have foiled a 'fidayeen strike' in the Capital with the arrest of Syed Liyaqat Ali Shah, 40, who they claimed was a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist who planned attacks to avenge Afzal Guru's hanging.

However, sources say he had surrendered at the Sanauli checkpost on the Nepal border two days ago.

Shah was not alone, he was with eight others, including an 18-month-old boy when he crossed over. The group included Shah, his wife Akhtara, his 18-year-old step-daughter Jabeena and the six-member family of another Kashmiri, Mohammad Ashraf, when they approached Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) officers at the Sanauli check post, sources said. The whereabouts of the others are not known.

Sources said the group was coming back as part of a rehabilitation policy of the Jammu and Kashmir government for surrendered militants. Incidentally, this has been a preferred route for people living in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to cross over to India to avail amnesty under the J&K government's rehabilitation policy. Under the rehabilitation plan, approximately 150 militants returned to the Valley in 2011, and around 115 in 2012. Most of them take the Nepal route.

"The SSB officials informed their Delhi headquarters and Delhi Police was roped into the operation. A Special Cell inspector went to Uttar Pradesh where Shah was arrested. The whereabouts of the rest of the people accompanying him are not known," said a source.

When contacted, SSB chief Arun Chowdhury said, "It was a Delhi Police operation and we do not know anything about it." S N Srivastava, Special Commissioner (Special cell) said his team had kept a watch on Shah from Kathmandu. "After he reached the Sanauli checkpost, we kept tracking him till Gorakhpur. Our source identified him in the city and we arrested him on March 20 itself, the day he entered Sanauli," he said.

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