India rules out withdrawing ‘most wanted’ list after errors (Lead)

May 20th, 2011 - 5:16 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) The Indian government Friday ruled out any possibility of withdrawing its list of most wanted terrorists allegedly hiding in Pakistan even as authorities are reviewing it after two fugitives were found to be in India — one in jail and the other released on bail.

“We have no plan to recall the list from Pakistan (but) the entire list is being reviewed,” Secretary (Internal Security) in the home ministry, U.K. Bansal told reporters here.

India’s list of 50 “most wanted” terrorists believed to be hiding in Pakistan was given to Islamabad during the home secretary-level talks held in Delhi in March. India wants Pakistan to track the terrorists hiding on its soil. The list includes runaway don Dawood Ibrahim, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed and the masterminds of November 2008 Mumbai attack and other terror strikes in India.

Bansal said the home ministry would conduct an exercise to ensure there were no more errors after the government was left red-faced when Feroze Abdul Rashid Khan and Wazhul Qamar Khan, listed as criminal No.24 and 41, respectively, in the dossier, were found to be living in Mumbai and Thane, respectively.

“The MHA (ministry of home affairs) will do an exercise to ensure that there are no other errors,” Bansal said, a day after it was reported that Feroze Khan was in Mumbai’s fortified Arthur Road Central Jail and facing trial in the 1993 serial blasts case.

Bansal said the “error has already been accepted by CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). A mistake can always be laid at the door of casual approach. You can always draw your own conclusion.”

Referring to the CBI’s action to suspend and transfer some officials responsible for the goof up, Bansal said the responsibility has been fixed.

“The responsibility has been fixed as it is a matter of internal importance. The issue is being probed,” he added.

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

The CBI had issued an Interpol Red Corner Notice against Feroze Khan in 1994 but the notice was not withdrawn even after he was arrested last year.

Meanwhile, chief of the premier probe agency A.P. Singh has ordered a complete review of the CBI’s Interpol wing and the most wanted list will be scrutinised after consultations with police and other intelligence and security agencies.

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