Suspected Hizbul militant Liyaqat Shah seeks bail



New Delhi: Suspected Hizbul militant Liyaqat Shah on Monday approached a special NIA court here seeking bail in a case of alleged conspiracy to carry out terror attacks in Delhi, claiming that no concrete evidence had been found against him during probe.

Forty five-year-old Shah, who was arrested by the special cell of Delhi Police on March 20, moved the bail application during an in-chamber hearing before District Judge I S Mehta who posted it for hearing on May 15, court sources said.

Shah was produced before the court after expiry of his judicial custody and the court extended it till May 18, they said.

The sources said Shah, in his application, has said that he should be granted bail as he is in custody since March 20 and no concrete evidence has been found against him by the probe agencies as yet.

He was sent to judicial custody on May 1 after National Investigation Agency (NIA) had said that he was not required for further custodial interrogation.

The court had on April 26 allowed the NIA's plea and remanded Shah in NIA's custody for five days after the agency had said that they need to take Shah to Sunauli border, one of India-Nepal crossing points near Gorakhpur, from where he was allegedly arrested.

After Shah's arrest, the Home Ministry had on March 28 issued a notification facilitating NIA to take over the case after his arrest had generated conflicting versions from Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir police.

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

The special cell of Delhi Police had earlier said Shah, a resident of Jammu and Kashmir, was apprehended from Indo-Nepal border area near Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh and had told his interrogators 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 Shah and his associate Manzoor, a resident of J&K, were directed by top ranks of Hizbul to carry out terror attacks in Delhi.

It had said that based on inputs given by Shah, a huge consignment of arms, hand grenades and explosive material were recovered from a guest house in Jama Masjid area here. It had said that his associates, including Manzoor, are absconding.

A case was registered under sections 120 B(criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war against government of India), 121 A (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, had 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.

PTI