Was Syed Liyaqat Shah, a former militant of Al Barq terror outfit, on his way to surrender before the Kashmir police when the Delhi police claimed to have nabbed him for planning terror strike in the national capital?
His arrest, announced by Delhi police's special commissioner (special cell) S N Srivastava on Friday, has left the authorities in Jammu and Kashmir upset and they were planning to take up the matter with Union home ministry.
The return of Liyaqat, who was claimed by the Delhi police as a member of Hizbul Mujahideen terror group, was known to the authorities including the local army formation, official sources in Kashmir said.
The state government had entered into an unwritten understanding with the Union home ministry that any youth who had joined militant ranks in 1990s and wishing to return via Nepal would be allowed to do it provided he surrenders before army or police in the Valley.
This way, the sources said, many such youths had returned quietly without any sensation being created. In many cases these returnees had helped security agencies in understanding various terror groups operating from Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.
Liyaqat, whose family had contacted authorities in the state and sought their help in ensuring his return, was given assurances. His arrest may now deter youths from PoK who want to shun the path of violence and join the national mainstream, the sources said.
Liyaqat, who was nabbed along with Arshad Mir and eight other family members in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, was questioned at length, the sources said.