Mecca Masjid blast case was toughest, says retiring CBI director

July 30th, 2008 - 9:55 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Aarushi Talwar

New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) A day before his retirement, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Vijay Shankar Wednesday said the Mecca Masjid blasts case was the toughest during his two-year-nine-month-long stint as head of the agency. “It was one of the toughest cases because it was handed over to us very late,” Shankar said in an informal chat here with reporters.

He also described the Malegaon blasts and the Aarushi-Hemraj double murder cases as challenging.

Shankar retires July 31 after a 41-year-long career. According to agency officials, Special Director M.L. Sharma is likely to succeed him.

As many as 14 people were killed and over 50 injured in a bomb blast in the historic Mecca Masjid of Hyderabad and in the subsequent police firings in the nearby areas in May last year.

In September 2006, two bomb blasts ripped through Malegaon, a town in Nashik district of Maharashtra, killing at least 40 people.

The sensational Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj double murder took place in Noida near the national capital in May this year.

Avoiding his comments on controversial issues including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s charge that the agency was used by the central government against her, Shankar chose to offer professional advice to reporters.

“I know journalists are under pressure but I want you not to be friends with officers. Instead, be as critical of CBI as you can,” he said.

He also refused to disclose his future plans.

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