Worried Maharashtra cabinet discusses fallout of 26/11 report

June 16th, 2009 - 12:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, June 16 (IANS) A deeply divided Maharashtra cabinet Tuesday continued discussions on the report of the Ram Pradhan committee into the 26/11 terror attacks with some ministers proposing another panel to study it and others questioning why only former police commissioner Hasan Gafoor had been singled out for transfer.
The report, scheduled to be tabled in the legislature Tuesday afternoon, was discussed threadbare at the cabinet meeting Monday evening. On Tuesday, the cabinet met again for two hours to continue the debate, said official sources.

Worried by the possibility of an opposition onslaught on the ruling Democratic Front government over the report, some cabinet members have proposed setting up another committee to study it in detail, an official said.

Referring to some reports that the Mumbai Police was given a clean chit, it is learnt that some ministers wanted to know why former police commissioner Hasan Gafoor was the only one to be singled out for a transfer.

Others said the report had clearly spoken of “intelligence failure” and questioned the appointment of D. Shivananandan, commissioner of the State Intelligence Department at the time of the terror attacks, as city police chief, disclosed an official privy to the discussion.

The issue of the sudden transfer of 17 Indian Police Service officers last Saturday and the fate of then Maharashtra director general of police A. N. Roy also came up.

After the report was submitted last fortnight, the government had set up a two-member committee comprising Chief Secretary Johny Joseph and Additional Chief Secretary (home) Chandra Iyengar to prepare an action taken report (ATR).

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had said the Pradhan Committee report and the ATR would be presented before the legislature simultaneously.

Tuesday is the last day of the legislature’s monsoon-cum-budget session. The government has already come under attack from the opposition for not allowing a discussion on the Pradhan Committee report by deliberately tabling it on the final day.

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