MHA likely to ask NIA to probe Liyaqat arrest

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is planning to ask the National Investigation Agency to probe the arrest of Hizbul Mujahideen suspect Liyaqat Ali Shah after doubts surfaced over the Delhi Police's claims that it foiled an attack on the capital with his arrest. The MHA has also sought a detailed report over the circumstances that led to the arrest of Shah from the Delhi Police.

Shah was reportedly brought to New Delhi by the Special Cell of Delhi Police two days ago from Sanauli near Gorakhpur. The Special Cell claimed that he was on his way to carry out a fidayeen attack in Delhi on Holi to avenge the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

However, Shah's family has claimed that he was a former militant who had surrendered at the Sanauli check-post on the Nepal border and was part of a group returning from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir as part of the rehabilitation policy of the Jammu and Kashmir government. The J&K Police has supported the claims of Shah's family.

"A decision on whether an inquiry is warranted will be taken after scrutiny of both the versions. In a report submitted to MHA, Delhi Police also claimed that they have identified another suspect who was staying at a guest house in Jama Masjid area of Old Delhi. The Special Cell also released the sketch of the suspect and video footage in which a person carrying a bag can be seen enquiring about the tariff at the guest house reception," Union Home Secretary R K Singh said on Sunday. "However, the MHA is not convinced with the explanation provided by Delhi Police and has now sought details from J&K Police."

A decision to hand over the probe to NIA will be taken once Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde returns from Maharashtra. On Saturday, J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah urged Shinde to hand over Shah's case to NIA.

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