The Union Home Ministry and the Maharashtra home ministry are now trying to play down the goof up in preparing the list of 50 fugitives, who are said to be hiding in Pakistan. The list was handed over to Pakistan in March and made public a few days ago. It turned out that Wazhul Qamar Khan, one of the “most wanted” fugitives, is actually living in Thane on bail and not hiding in Pakistan, as stated in India’s list of 50 runaway terrorists given to Islamabad.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram washed his hands off the matter by saying that his ministry did not prepare the list and thereby putting the blame on the Maha government. Khan’s name was 41st in the list of fugitives, which include underworld Don Dawood Ibrahim, his 20 aides, 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and dreaded terrorist Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
Khan was released on bail last July after he was arrested in May for his alleged involvement in the 2002 and 2003 terror bombings in Mumbai and its suburbs. He has been living and working in Thane since. ” There is no blame game. I don’t think anybody is blaming the Mumbai Police. Any blame, if there is, is of the ministry of home. I don’t think Mumbai Police can be blamed at all. We will verify tomorrow after looking at the records,” Home Secertary G K Pillai the media.
The Anti terrorist squad and Crime branch of Maharashtra did not inform the CBI of the arrest and hence Khan’s name was in the list of fugitives for whom Red Corner lookout notice was issued.