New Delhi: Suspected Hizbul terrorist Liaqat Shah, who was arrested by the Delhi Police for allegedly conspiring to carry out terror attacks in the national capital, was on Friday granted bail by a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in New Delhi. District Judge IS Mehta enlarged Liaqat on bail on a personal bond of Rs 20,000 with a surety of the like amount. The court imposed several conditions on Liaqat while granting him bail and directed him not to leave the country without its prior permission.
Forty-five-year-old Liyaqat was arrested on March 20 while crossing the Indo-Nepal border in Gorakhpur with his family. Liaqat had said that he had come to surrender under the Jammu and Kashmir government's rehabilitation policy. The Delhi Police, which arrested him soon after he had crossed the border, alleged that Liaqat was involved in the conspiracy to carry out terror attacks in the capital ahead of Holi.
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 J&K Police. Liaqat, who has been lodged in Tihar jail, had sought bail saying that he was returning to India via Sunauli border, to surrender but he was arrested by the special cell on March 20.
Liaqat's counsel Asim Ali had told the court that his client was accompanied with his wife and children when he was arrested and the probe agency has not been able to establish his links with any crime. Regarding the alleged recovery of arms and ammunitions from Jama Masjid area in New Delhi, the counsel had said that it was not recovered at his instance as alleged by the special cell. He had also said that no substantial evidence has been found against Liaqat during the investigation till date.
The NIA had opposed the bail plea, saying he has been booked under the provisions of stringent anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and for offences under various sections, including waging war against the country, of the IPC. The NIA had told the court that their investigation in the case was still going on. Earlier, the court had also allowed NIA's plea to take DNA samples of Liaqat.
While the Delhi Police had claimed that with Liaqat'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 that Liaqat, a J&K resident, was apprehended from Indo-Nepal border area 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 alleged that Liyaqat and his associate Manzoor, a resident of J&K, were directed by top ranks of Hizbul to carry out terror attacks in Delhi. 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 the Delhi Police, Liaqat had allegedly planned attacks to avenge the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. The J&K Police, however, had supported the claims of the family of Liaqat 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.
(With additional information from PTI)