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Mar 24, 2013 at 04:05pm IST

Liaqat Shah a rehabilitated terrorist or an active operative?

New Delhi: The controversy over the arrest of Liaqat Shah continues. Is he a rehabilitated militant or an active operative planning a terror strike in Delhi?

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah wants the NIA to probe the matter. Delhi Police sources Liaqat is part of a terror plot to strike the capital around Holi but the Kashmir government says he is a rehabilitated militant.

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His family said that he is being framed. Omar spoke to Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and demanded that the case of arrest of an alleged Hizbul Mujahdeen terrorist by Delhi Police be transferred to NIA for a "time bound speedy probe". The Chief Minister took up the matter with Shinde over phone as the latter was away in Maharashtra with President Pranab Mukherjee. "I have spoken to him and asked for a speedy and time bound probe by the NIA to establish the facts in this case," Omar said.

A controversy broke over the arrest of Liyaqat Shah by Delhi Police which claimed that he was a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist who had come to the national capital to plan a suicide attack. However, the charges were contested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police saying that he was returning to the Valley for surrendering.

Even the family of Liyaqat at Lalpura, Kupwara in North Kashmir said that they had informed the authorities about his return, which was agreed upon. Kashmiri youth who had crossed over to Pakistan-occupied -Kashmir (PoK) in 1990s have been returning to the Valley via Nepal.

The family members of Liyaqat claimed that he entered into India through Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh and he presented himself to border guarding force - SSB. However, instead of handing him to state Police, Liyaqat was given to Delhi Police. Jammu and Kashmir Police also said that Delhi Police had informed them about Liyaqat and claimed that he should be sent to the Valley as he was going to surrender, official sources said.

Liyaqat's arrest may now deter youths from PoK who want to shun the path of violence and join the national mainstream, the sources said. As an important in Confidence Building Measure, the state government entered into an unwritten understanding with the Union Home Ministry that any youth who had joined militant ranks in 1990s and wishing to return via Nepal would be allowed to do it provided he surrenders before army or police in the valley.

This way, the sources said, many such youths had returned quietly without any sensation being created. In many cases these returnees had helped security agencies in understanding various terror groups operating from Pakistan and PoK.

Meanwhile, the opposition PDP on Saturday asked the Omar government to take up the issue with the Centre. Seeking transparency in the rehabilitation policy for the return of local youth from across the border, party president Mehbooba Mufti demanded a white paper on the Kashmiri

prisoners languishing in different jails in the country. She also sought to know the charges being faced by them.

With Additional Inputs from PTI