M A I N   N E W S

Govt orders probe into most-wanted list gaffe
TNS & Agencies

Mumbai/New Delhi, May 17
In a major embarrassment for India, a terror accused whose name figured in the list of 50 most-wanted fugitives given to Pakistan has been found to be living in a suburb of Mumbai, prompting the government to order a probe into the goof-up.

Wazhul Kamar Khan, whose name figures in the list of fugitives sought by India from Pakistan, has been found staying in Thane’s Waghle Estate with his mother, wife and children. He was arrested last year for his alleged role in the 2003 Mulund train blasts here and was released on bail last year.

As Khan appeared before the media today, the Union Home Ministry went into a tizzy and asked the flummoxed Maharashtra Government to look into the process of how the list was prepared and who all were involved in compiling it. The list was handed over to Pakistan during the Home Secretary-level talks in Delhi in March. Khan’s name is 41st on the list, which also has names of gangster Dawood Ibrahim and Lashkar-e-Toiba founder Hafiz Saeed. The list was prepared in consultation with the Maharashtra Police, the National Investigation Agency and the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The probe will cover the whole process of preparing the list at different stages and pinpoint the officials responsible for inclusion of Khan’s name.

Talking to reporters, Khan denied having gone underground. “I am out on bail since July 2010 and awaiting trial,” he said.

After his release, he has been working as a labour contractor. Khan said he had never been to Pakistan. He claimed that he was not involved in the blasts but was framed by the police. Khan was arrested by the ATS for “planting explosives” at various railway stations.

The man is now worried and fears that the government goof-up may affect his job. “I am now worried that this could affect my work as a labour contractor. I may not get new contracts from builders and labourers may avoid me. It will spell doom for my livelihood,” he said.

Though the Centre has ordered an inquiry, Home Minister P Chidambaram sought to play down the goof up saying a big issue should not be made out of one wrong name.

“I did not prepare the list. It was prepared months ago. If you prepare a list of 50 people, one name, assuming that we are wrong in one name, 49 are right. I don’t think we should make a big issue out of it. It is possible there could be an error or there could be two people with the same name. I will go back and check,” he told reporters in Agartala.

Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil said he is looking into the issue. “I have sought information in the matter,” Patil said. Sources said it appeared that there was some “lack of coordination” between the ATS of the Maharashtra Police and the state Home Department and other agencies involved in preparing the list. 





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