Second goof-up in India’s Most Wanted list (Roundup)

May 20th, 2011 - 1:34 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi/Mumbai, May 20 (IANS) The Indian government was left red-faced Thursday when
another man named in its Most Wanted list of terrorists allegedly hiding in Pakistan was found to be in a Mumbai jail facing trial in the 1993 serial blasts case.

Listed in the dossier as the criminal No.24 - Feroze Abdul Rashid Khan - was shown as a wanted accused in the blasts case along with the absconding mafia don Dawood Ibrahim.

But it came to be known that he was actually in Mumbai’s fortified Arthur Road Central Jail and facing trial, officials confirmed.

This is the second goof-up in the list that was given to Pakistan during the home secretary level talks in March.

Earlier this week, the home ministry had to face a huge embarrassment over Wazhul Qamar Khan, who was also allegedly hiding in Pakistan but was found to be living in Thane near Mumbai.

Feroze Khan’s lawyer confirmed that her client was in the jail. She said it was “really very surprising and very embarrassing and disgusting”.

“When the accused is coming before the court, no one cares that his name is cancelled from the list,” advocate Farhana Shah said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which had forwarded Feroze Khan’s named to the home ministry for the list has owned up the mistake.

“They (the CBI) have admitted the mistake for erroneously including Feroze Khan in the list,” home ministry spokesperson Onkar Kedia told IANS.

Kedia said the CBI had named 40 people and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had included 10 suspected terrorists in the list.

The CBI, the official said, “has written to the home ministry saying that they had forgotten to remove the name from the list although the accused was in their custody”.

He said the NIA has checked up its list and stands by the names forwarded. The CBI is now rechecking the names of 40 people it had given.

The CBI promptly suspended an inspector and transferred two senior officers for the error, said a statement from the agency.

Agency spokesperson Dharini Mishra said: “After first lapse was discovered on May 17, the CBI ordered an enquiry. The lapse has occurred on the part of the official in cancelling the name from the list.”

Feroze Khan was arrested Feb 6, 2010 by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad for his role in the 1993 blasts which were masterminded by Dawood and executed by Tiger Memon, both of whom are on the list.

Soon after the serial blasts, Feroze Khan had gone missing for several years before surfacing under a new identity until his arrest.

Post-arrest, the ATS handed Feroze Khan to the CBI’s Special Task Force for further investigations.

Feroze Khan was a member of the Mohammed Dossa gang, who was the chief landing agent handling the consignment of arms and ammunition that arrived by the Arabian Sea before being taken by road to Mumbai.

Opposition parties lost no time in lashing out the government and slamming union Home Minister P. Chidamabaram for embarrassing the country.

“This is an indication how our agencies are working and how our government is working. The home minister is responsible. He is answerable. It is an embarrassing situation for the country ,” Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari said.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) also Chidambaram responsible for the errors.

“This is absolutely subjecting this country to international ridicule,” CPI-M leader Brinda Karat said

“On such a serious matter, giving a list of wanted people for acts of terrorism to Pakistan, it has happened once and now the second time. It just shows utterly inept and negligent attitude of the government and certainly the home minister is to be blamed,” she added.

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