New Delhi, (IANS) India Friday asked Pakistan to admit that 2008 Mumbai terror suspect Abu Jindal Hamza had found a safe haven on its soil and had masterminded the attacks on the Indian megapolis.
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who presented his ministry’s monthly performance report, said he was willing to admit that Abu Jindal Hamza is an Indian, just as Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed a couple of days ago.
Chidambaram said he expected Pakistan to admit facts relating to the terror suspect having set up a “control room” in Karachi and having trained the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai in November 2008.
The attacks, at key locations and landmarks of Mumbai, claimed the lives of 166 people, including many foreign nationals.
“I agree with Malik… Abu Jindal is an Indian and Abu Jindal was perhaps radicalised in India. I admit that,” Chidambaram said at the interaction with reporters.
“Equally, Pakistan should also admit Abu Jindal did go to Pakistan and Abu Jindal was part of the group which trained and prepared Kasab and nine others, Abu Jindal was in the control room, and was among one of the handlers and masterminds of the 26/11 attacks,” the home minister said.
“Just as we admit facts, Pakistan must also admit facts,” he said.
“Abu Jindal had found a very safe haven in Pakistan,” he added.
Supplementing his minister’s remarks, Home Secretary R.K. Singh said: “They (Pakistanis) must also admit the fact that they gave passport to Jindal. They must also admit that they gave two identity cards to Jindal. They should also admit the fact that they claimed Abu Jindal was a Pakistani with the Saudis.”
Jindal, who was deported to India by Saudi Arabia on June 21, is under the Delhi Police custody, and during interrogation he reportedly admitted to all these facts that Chidambaram and R.K. Singh mentioned at their media briefing.
Patting the back of the Indian sleuths in apprehending Jindal in Saudi Arabia and getting him deported to India, Chidambaram said this was “an important development” in the investigations of the terror strikes in Mumbai and other places.
He said apart from the Mumbai attacks, Abu Jindal was wanted in the 2006 Aurangaband arms haul, for the terror strike at the Ahmedabad railway station the same year, and the Pune Best Bakery attack.
“In fact, many of the remaining pieces of the 26/11 conspiracy are now known to us through the interrogation of Abu Jindal..It is quite clear that he was a key operative,” the minister said, adding that he was the key man to train the 10 terrorists, including Ajmal Kasab, to speak in Hindi and in learning the culture of Mumbaikars.
“He (Jindal) was perhaps the key person to train Kasab and key player in the (Karachi) control room. The interrogation has confirmed beyond doubt about the control room, and key players in the control room, including Hafiz Saeed, and it had state support,” he said.
Asked about different police forces trying to get Jindal’s custody, Chidambaram clarified that “nobody is fighting with anybody” and that after Delhi Police complete their interrogation, other police forces, including Mumbai Police’s Anti-Terror Squad, Maharashtra Police, Gujarat Police and others will get their chance to interrogate him in the cases they have against him.
Regarding the operation to obtain custody of Jindal, Chidambaram said establishing his identity had taken time after Indian sleuths knew one of the wanted persons had left Pakistan and tracked him in Saudi Arabia.
Once the identity was established, they could persuade the authorities concerned to apprehend him, he added.