The National Investigating Agency has filed a closure report in the Liaqat Shah case. After the Delhi police had arrested Shah on March 20 2014 on the ground that he was a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist trying to infiltrate into India this claim was countered by the Jammu and Kashmir police.
It was stated that Shah was coming back to India as part of a rehabilitation programme offered by the government. The NIA while filing the closure report in this case absolved him of all charges of terror slapped by the Delhi police.
There was a lot of controversy surrounding the case. 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. It was stated that a fair probe would be needed. The government also felt that if mistakes such as these are made it would affect the rehabilitation programmes at getting back several militants holed up in Pakistan.
The rehabilitation programme
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.