In an embarrassment to Delhi Police, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has given a clean chit to Liaquat Shah who had been arrested by it and labelled as a terrorist two years back.
The NIA, instead, named absconder Sabir Khan as the main accused who had allegedly planted weapons on Shah to project him as a militant of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen.
Ironically, according to chargesheet filed by NIA in a special court, the address of Khan alias ‘Pathan’ as mentioned in a lodge in old Delhi as well as for his SIM card was “Barrack NO. 2, Special Cell Niwas, BG 21, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi”.
The NIA, while absolving Shah of terror charges, has also submitted the report to Ministry to Home Affairs seeking permission for carrying out investigations against two Delhi Police officials for allegedly “conspiring” to target Shah.
Shah was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police on March 20, 2013 while he was returning from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir to the Kashmir Valley via Nepal and he was projected as a terrorist of Hizbul Mujahideen who had come to carry out strikes in the national capital.
Jammu and Kashmir police had protested the arrest, saying Shah was returning home as per the state government’s policy of allowing people, who had ex-filtrated to PoK in early 1990s, to come back.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who had flagged the issue about his arrest with the Union Home Ministry, welcomed the NIA move and said “at least I am happy that truth has finally come out and I hope that security agencies do not target Kashmiris to achieve their ulterior motives.”
Shah was arrested by the anti-terror Cell of Delhi Police on March 20 at Saunali border when he was crossing over with his wife and children.
To buttress its case, Special Cell had claimed that on the basis of his disclosure statement of Shah, the Special Cell also conducted a raid at Room No.304, Haji Arafat Guest House, Jama Masjid, New Delhi and recovered arms, ammunition and explosives.
The NIA contradicted the claims of the Delhi Police and said in the chargesheet that the probe “conducted by NIA has revealed that the charges against the accused (Shah) were not proved and that he was coming into India to obtain the benefit of the surrender policy of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Further, NIA investigation has “revealed” that Khan was allegedly responsible for the placement of weapons and explosives in the guest house room, it said in its chargesheet.
Khan had booked the room Haji Arafat Guest House in Jama Masjid and has been missing ever since the case was shifted to NIA. He has been declared as a Proclaimed Offender by court.
A native of Gelana of Shajahpur district in Madhya Pradesh, Khan’s family had expressed its inability to give his whereabouts and also told the visiting sleuths of NIA that they were fearing for his life, official sources said.
“Further investigation is being conducted to unravel the conspiracy behind the placement of weapons,” he said.