Probe Will Decide Liyaqat Is Terrorist Or Innocent: DGP

Probe Will Decide Liyaqat Is Terrorist Or Innocent: DGP

31 March 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Director General of Police (DGP) Ashok Prasad said today that credentials of Liyaqat Shah, a resident of Kupwara district in Kashmir Valley who has been arrested by Delhi Police on the charges of plotting fidayeen attack at a shopping mall few days back triggering protests from ruling National Conference and Opposition PDP including Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, can’t be labeled as ‘terrorist’ or 'innocent’ till the investigations now taken over by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) were complete. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Police-Public Welfare Mela this afternoon, Mr Prasad said Delhi Police was earlier conducting investigations in the arrest of Liyaqat Shah. “The case has now been handed over to NIA. The fact would be clear only after the investigations were completed,” he added. “Every thing would be decided in the investigations. You cannot label a person a terrorist or innocent until the investigation process is complete,” Mr Prasad said in response to a question on Liyaqat Shah. “We are waiting for the probe to be over and only then a call on Liyaqat’s status could be made. We are also waiting for the completion of the investigation process. Delhi Police has already done some investigation. The NIA is doing the investigation now and whatever is the finding, I am sure everyone will act accordingly,” the State police chief said. Liyaqat Shah’s arrest had rocked the Legislative Assembly with ruling National Conference and other political parties denouncing it saying he was returning from Nepal route under Rehabilitation Policy to surrender before Kashmir Police along with wife and children. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had also denounced the arrest saying he had been listening it for the first time that a militant was going to attack a shopping mall along with his wife and children. However, Delhi Police had insisted that it had foiled a fidayeen attack in New Delhi on the eve of Holi festival with the arrest of Liyaqat Shah on March 22 along with arms and explosives. Omar in an interview to a news channel last night had said: “Given the complete divergent point of view of Delhi Police and Jammu and Kashmir Police, we needed an objective organisation to look into the facts and tell us the truth behind the whole matter.” He also said the State and the Centre were not on “cross-purposes” over the issue and praised the Union Government for handing the case to the NIA for investigation. “It’s Delhi Police and Jammu and Kashmir Police that have given divergent views. The Government of India has not taken a position on this. They have done the right thing by handing it over to the NIA. We are not on cross-purposes with the Centre on this,” he had said. In reply to another question on non-functioning of Close Circuit Television Sets (CCTVs) in most parts of the State including sensitive areas like Jammu City, holy town of Katra and Mata Vaishno Devi ji track, Mr Prasad said the firm, which had installed the CCTVs had not been able to repair them. “We have floated fresh tenders for installation of new CCTVs and repair of the existing cameras,” Mr Prasad said. He hoped that work on new CCTVs and repair of the already installed CCTVs would start soon so that a strict surveillance was maintained on anti-national and anti-social elements. “As the company, which had installed the cameras is not able to maintain them, we had to float a new contract to activate the old cameras and install the new cameras,” the Director General of Police said. “That tender process is almost complete and as early as possible, the new cameras will start functioning,” he added. The non-functioning of CCTVs at most of the places in sensitive Jammu City, holy town of Katra, which serves as base camp for Mata Vaishno Devi ji shrine and Katra-Bhawan track had come to light after twin terror strikes in Hyderabad few days back, which had taken nearly a dozen lives and left many injured. Police had admitted that non-functioning of the CCTVs at major places was a security risk but added that it was resorting to patrolling and other alternate measures till the cameras were repaired and new CCTVs installed. The DGP also said the security and surveillance systems in place from Katra to Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan were being revamped and their functioning was reviewed at regular intervals. Holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi ji has been witnessing heavy rush these days with over 30,000 to 40,000 pilgrims reaching Katra base camp daily for darshan of Goddess Vaishno Devi.