Suspicion of role of Indians in 26/11 attacks: HM
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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 village."

"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 said.

PTI


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


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