Delhi Police CCTV footage backing Liyaqat arrest 'damaged'


The NIA probe into the controversial arrest of Liyaqat Ali Shah, who the Delhi Police claimed was a Hizbul Mujahideen militant, has run into a wall with forensic experts saying the CCTV footage given by the police to back their case is damaged.

Police had arrested Shah from the India-Nepal border in March saying he was planning a suicide attack in the capital ahead of Holi. But the Jammu &Kashmir police and the Intelligence Bureau had said he was a reformed militant returning as part of an amnesty scheme.

The Delhi Police claimed to have seized arms, ammunition, grenades and dry fruits from a guest house in the Jama Masjid area and alleged Shah's accomplice had brought them.

During the operation, they had also taken 30 computer hard disks containing CCTV images from around the guest house.

Shah was freed on bail in May after the NIA probe did not find anything against him. The NIA had given the 30 hard disks to the CBI's CFSL facility to retrieve data.

"Due to damage of the disks, the data cannot be retrieved. Most of the hard disk were in damaged or out of order condition. We have not received such type of hard disk in the past (sic)," a senior CFSL officer wrote to the NIA recently.

NIA sources said the CCTV footage was obtained from the official recording system installed at the Jama Masjid police station by the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL).

They said they would seek the help of ECIL officials to retrieve data from the disks, which is needed to establish the role of Shah's alleged accomplice as well.

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