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Suspicion of role of Indians in 26/11 attacks: HM

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 19:00

New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram
today said though there is no absolute evidence about the role
of Indians in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks there is
suspicion about the involvement of some locals.

"Apart from Fahim Ansari and Sahabudin, who were charged
in that case, there is no concrete evidence of any Indian or
local person. However, there is a suspicion because among the
handlers was one person who used Hindi or Urdu, which will
only be known by somebody who lived in India," Chidambaram
said in an interview to a private news channel.

He said an appeal process was still open for prosecution
in the case of Fahim Ansari and Sahabudin, who were acquitted
by the special trial court in Mumbai for want of evidence.

"This is still the judgment of the trial court which has
given them the benefit of doubt. Now the prosecutor believes
he has enough evidence against them but the judge said may be
but I am giving them the benefit of doubt," he said, adding,
"There is still an appeal process."

On the issue of convicts awaiting death sentence, the
Home Minister said, "I have re-examined four cases so far and
have re-submitted to the President. I can re-submit the fifth,
sixth, seventh. No one, I am afraid, can or should comment on
what the President will do. Every convict on death row will be
treated alike. To be a convict on death row is a punishment
worse than hanging."

Chidambaram said death sentence should remain in the
statute book because the debate whether death sentence is
a deterrent or not is not a settled debate.

"The death sentence should be awarded only in rarest of
the rare cases. I totally subscribe to the judgment of the
Supreme Court there. We can show mercy only where mercy is
deserved and not all cases deserve mercy," he said.

The Home Minister speaking on the caste census said
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured to take the matter
back to the Cabinet.

"I am going by the letter of the PM`s statement. I am
awaiting the Cabinet decision," he said.

Chidambaram, when asked about the permission given to
NSCN-IM leader Muivah to travel to Manipur, said, "We gave no
permission to anyone. The government did the right thing in
telling Mr T Muivah... yes we understand your desire to visit
your village... we will try to facilitate it in consultation
with the Government of Manipur... We tell the government of
Manipur... please can you find a way whereas he can visit his

"We are not able to bring a meeting point. So that is
where it stands. But hopefully, if not today, but someday in
future we can find a way for him to visit his village," he


First Published: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 19:00
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