New Delhi, May 10: The release of the ten terror suspects who were arrested by the Delhi police only suggests an extremely sad state of affairs. Exaggerated claims and sensationalism from the word go never helps terrorism cases. In fact it only worsens the situation.
When the Delhi police had arrested these ten persons it had said that these were sympathisers of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and were planning on carrying out a Pathankot styled attack.
After questioning them for a week, these ten persons were released in two batches. The first batch of four were released on Saturday while the remaining six on Monday.
From the word go, there was a sense of exaggeration attached to this case. In fact it was the Home Ministry was not happy with the manner in which this case had been handled and from the start felt that the claims had been exaggerated.
This is however not for the first time that the Delhi police has gone overboard in an investigation relating to a case of terrorism.
Home Ministry unhappy:
The government policy towards terrorism has been a clear cut one. They want no false cases been slapped.
It is a known rule that arresting persons without evidence only enhances the problem. In many cases it has been seen that when innocents have been arrested, there is a sense of revenge that brews within them which makes them come back hard.
From the word go, the Home Ministry was unhappy with the claims by the Delhi police. Some of the claims sounded extremely far fetched.
Home Ministry officials too said that there have been strict instructions issued to the police not to slap cases against innocent persons as this will only lead to the problem getting worse.
The Delhi police after questioning them for a week released ten persons. However the police say that these persons are still under watch and when evidence crops up they will have to come down for questioning.
The Liaqat Ali Shah case
In this context one must visit two previous cases. The one concerning Liaqat Ali Shah and Abdul Karim Tunda. The one relating to Shah is quite a peculiar case. He was a Hizbul Mujahideen operative who had slipped into Pakistan. The government had come up with a militant rehabilitation policy.
Many such people who left for Pakistan realised that the ISI was not serious about the Kashmir issue. These persons have been away from their families for over a decade and realised that they lost everything trusting the Pakistanis.
The government introduced a rehabilitation programme for such persons where they were allowed to return to Kashmir. Once back they would be placed under surveillance and time granted for them to be rehabilitated.
The government also felt that not only would such persons get a chance to reform but also provide vital intelligence. These persons would also be instilled with Indianess if they were given a chance to reform
While Shah was returning to India the Delhi police had arrested him claiming that he was a Hizbul Mujahideen operative.
However the Jammu and Kashmir police said that he had left for Pakistan and was returning to India under a rehabilitation programme. Shah was one of the many persons who left Kashmir to Pakistan at the peak of the militancy.
However over a period of time these people fell out of favour and lack of work forced them to request the Indian government to be rehabilitated. Delhi police on the backfoot
From the beginning the Delhi police has been on the backfoot in this case. Their claims had no basis and it was found that Shah was arrested in a hurried manner without ascertaining facts. It was also alleged that the Delhi police had later planted arms on Shah to give credence to their case.
Shah told the police that he after spending 17 years in Pakistan was returning as part of the rehabilitation project. His statements were not considered neither verified by the Delhi police. The case was last year handed over to the NIA and Shah was absolved of all charges.
The case against Tunda:
This case against Abul Karim Tunda too needs to be looked into. He was called Lashkar-e-Taiba's encyclopaedia, the best bomb maker, the one who could prepare 50 bombs in no time etc. However Tunda was discharged from the last of the four cases against him filed by the Delhi police on the ground that the investigators had failed to bring on record any evidence.
The Delhi Police had also charged him under the Explosives Substances Act (ESA).
The problem for the Delhi Police was the manner in which the explosives were recovered. The police had claimed to have recovered a large cache of explosives which they were never able to substantiate and this led to the discharge.
The Delhi Police had been repeatedly asked by the court in the past about the slapping of TADA charges against Tunda. In a hearing that took place in 2014 the court had disapproved the slapping of TADA charges.
The Delhi Police had claimed that they had recovered 150 kilograms of explosives on January 17 1994 and had even arrested five persons in this regard.
It was during the investigation that the name of Tunda had cropped up which led them to filing charges under the TADA, a provision that existed at that time.
When the court heard the Tunda case last year it had completely disapproved the manner in which the Delhi Police had probed the matter. There is no proper investigation the court had held. The court had even directed the prosecutor to file his written submissions.
Last year the court had also held that it would not prolong the proceedings anymore. Charges under stringent Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) may not be framed against Tunda. However, there is a prima facie case under the Explosive Substance Act against Tunda, the court had held.