Omar Abdullah for NIA probe in Liyaqat arrest, meets Home Minister

Omar Abdullah

CASTING doubts over the claims of Delhi Police that alleged Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Syed Liyaqat Ali Shah had planned attacks in the national capital to avenge the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday evening discussed the issue with Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

Omar emphasised on getting the case thoroughly probed by the National Investigation Agency in a time-bound manner to establish facts, a state government spokesperson said.

Controversy over the arrest of Liyaqat erupted following statement by his family that he was returning home in the Valley along with his second wife and daughter under the state government's policy for rehabilitation of misguided Kashmiri youths. The policy is for the youths who had gone to Pakistan or Pakistan occupied Kashmir for arms training but wanted to return home and lead a peaceful life.

The family said his application for rehabilitation was cleared by state authorities.

Slamming the arrest, Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday called it a ploy to earn rewards and medals. Kashmiris, Mehbooba told a press conference in Srinagar, were being used as fodder by national political parties to score brownie points and by the security forces to earn medals. "Unfortunately, Liyaqat is a case pointing towards the fact that they wanted to repeat the Afzal Guru episode," she said, adding that Liyaqat was being framed. "As an Opposition (party) we will raise the issue and it is Omar Abdullah who has to deliver."

The Delhi Police have claimed Liyaqat, who had returned from PoK with his family via Nepal, is a fidayeen who planned attacks to avenge the execution of Afzal Guru.

Minister of State for Home Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo said, "An officer of the rank of SP in Jammu Kashmir Police cell has been deputed for collecting information about Liyaqat from Delhi Police so as to ascertain their claims about his arrest. We will see whether he had applied under the state government's rehabilitation policy and if so, we will ask for his release.''

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