NIA allowed to quiz suspected Hizbul militant Liyaqat in jail



New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was on Tuesday allowed by a Delhi court to interrogate suspected Hizbul militant Sayyed Liyaqat Shah, who is presently lodged in Tihar Jail under judicial custody, in the prison itself till April 30.

Shah has been booked for waging war against the country by Delhi Police which claimed he was planning to carry out terror attacks in the national capital.

District Judge IS Mehta allowed the NIA's plea seeking permission to interrogate Shah in the jail itself.

"I have perused the application. The same is allowed. Chief investigating officer (of NIA) along with his team is allowed to interrogate Sayyed Liyaqat Shah in Tihar Jail till April 30, 2013 as and when required," the judge said.

With Shah's arrest generating conflicting versions from the Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir police, the Centre recently transferred the probe in the case to NIA.

While Delhi police has claimed that with Shah's arrest they had foiled a 'fidayeen' (suicide) attack in the capital ahead of Holi, its J-K counterpart insisted that he was one of those who had exfiltrated in 1990s and had returned to India to surrender under the state's rehabilitation policy.

45-year-old Shah, a resident of Jammu and Kashmir, was sent to judicial custody by a court here till April 12 after he was produced before it on expiry of his 15 days of police custody.

Shah has been quizzed by the special cell of Delhi police since March 21.

The police had earlier said that Shah was apprehended on March 20 from the Indo-Nepal border area near Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh and during had revealed during interrogation that he is a trained militant of banned terror group Hizbul Mujahideen and was settled in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Police had said that in January 2013, Shah and his associate Manzoor, a resident of Jammu and Kashmir, were directed by top-ranks of Hizbul to carry out terror attacks in Delhi.

The agency had said that upon disclosure of the accused, a huge consignment of arms, hand-grenades, explosive material and other incriminating material were recovered from a guest house in Jama Masjid area here.

It had said that his associates, including Manzoor are absconding.

Delhi Police said a case was registered under sections 120 B(criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war against Government of India), 121A (conspiracy to commit offences against the State) and 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war) of IPC against them.

According to Delhi police, Shah had planned attacks to avenge the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

J&K police, however, supported the claims of Shah's family that he was a former militant who had surrendered before SSB on the Nepal border and was in a group returning from PoK under the rehabilitation policy.

The Home Ministry on March 28 issued a notification facilitating the NIA to take over the case related to Shah.

The NIA will now conduct a probe into the circumstances leading to the arrest of Shah.

The Delhi Police had earlier told another court that they had information that some well trained and hard core militants have made elaborate plans in coordination with some Pakistani nationals to commit a terrorist attack at some undisclosed vital installation in Delhi.

"It was also informed that two-three terrorists have travelled from Jammu and Kashmir to set up a base in some hotel in Jama Masjid area, Delhi and the terrorists who have to execute the strikes may enter India through the Indo-Nepal border at Gorakhpur, UP or Tanakpur in Uttarakhand," the police had said.

PTI