Man behind arms linked to ‘militant’ gave Delhi Police barracks as address

New Delhi, August 19: The man who is suspected to have planted a bag of arms and ammunition in a guest house in Delhi’s Jama Masjid area implicating Liyaqat Ali Shah as a militant listed Delhi Police’s Special Cell barracks as his address.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has named Sabir Khan Pathan, a native of Shajapur in Madhya Pradesh, as the prime suspect in the case and found that he wrote down the Special Cell barracks in Lodhi Colony in the Capital as his address in his identification papers.
While Delhi Police, which held Liyaqat from the India-Nepal border in March, claimed he was a Hizbul Mujahideen militant, the Jammu & Kashmir Police and Intelligence Bureau had said he was a reformed militant returning from PaK as part of the J&K government’s amnesty scheme. Liyaqat was released on bail in May.
Soon after Liyaqat’s arrest, Delhi Police had recovered arms and ammunition from the Haji Arafat Guest House in the Jama Masjid area on the night of March 21-22, and said these had been left there by his “accomplice”. NIA investigation found that Pathan had been staying in the room till two hours prior to the raids. Since his name cropped up in the probe, Pathan is missing.
The NIA, which took over the case after doubts were raised over Liyaqat’s arrest, went through the CCTV footage at the guest house as well as questioned some witnesses to determine Pathan’s presence in the room from where the bag containing an AK-56, three grenades and a cache of ammunition was recovered.
“It was established that it was Pathan who brought the bag with the explosives at the guest house at 18.40 hours on March 21 and kept it in room No. 304. Probe also revealed that he occupied the room on March 20 at 4 pm. From his other identity documents, his address in Delhi was traced to Special Cell barracks,” said a senior Home Ministry official.
While there is no clarity on Pathan’s association with Delhi Police, sources said they suspect he worked for it.
The NIA is now learnt to be seeking a non-bailable warrant against Pathan from a Delhi court in order to track him down. A team of NIA officers recently visited Shajapur to contact Pathan’s family. One of his uncles is said to have informed the NIA that they last saw him on June 2.
The agency is also examining the sketches released by Delhi Police of a Liyaqat “aide”.
As reported earlier, the NIA probe found that two of the three grenades seized from the guest house, of Indian make, had no “igniter set” and were “safe”. Besides the CCTV footage given by Delhi Police to back their claims over Liyaqat’s arrest was found to be “damaged”.


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