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Top Indian officials were ‘holidaying’ in Murree during Mumbai attacks: reports

Mumbai

MUMBAI: As India keep on alleging Pakistan’s role in Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008, a shocking revelation has surfaced concerning Indian Ministry of Home Affairs officials, who were in Pakistan for the talks on November 25, 2008, were actually holidaying in Murree when the city was targeted by militants.

According to India Today, three India Ministry Home Affairs officials were enjoying the Pakistani hospitality in Murree. They were; Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, Additional Secretary (Border Management) Anwar Ahsan Ahmad, joint secretary (internal security) Diptivilasa, along with three other officials internal security.
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Former Under Secretary in ministry of Home Affairs RVS Mani said, “Those days, talks were taking place alternately in India and Pakistan. In 2006, it took place in Pakistan; in 2007 it took place in India at Le Meridian hotel in Delhi; while in 2008, it was to be held in Pakistan.

November 25 was decided for the talks, following which an approach paper was prepared and cleared.

He said: “Our delegation left on November 24. I was in Lucknow on November 25 for some court case. I remember that when I returned on November 26, I came to know that their visit was extended by a day, and then what happened in the night of 26th we all know.”

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When asked about the then Home Minister and the delay in the decision-making in the absence of top Internal Security officers, Mani said, “Home Minister Shivraj Patil’s role was limited,  though he flew to Mumbai.

One of the scenic spots in Murree.

One of the scenic spots in Murree.

There are standard operative procedures in place at the MHA, which the officers have to ensure. A very solid system is in place, but implementation of the system was required a leadership, which was missing (officers were stuck in Pakistan),” he added.

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India blamed the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the Mumbai attack. Ten gunmen had infiltrated the city by boat and spent three days spraying bullets and throwing grenades around city landmarks.

Indian investigators said Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was the Lashkar-e-Taiba military chief.

On April 11, 2015, A Pakistani court freed on bail Lakhvi, accused of plotting a 2008 militant assault on Mumbai that killed 166 people.

A supporter of Shiv Sena holds Pakistan's national flag and a portrait of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi during a protest against Lakhvi's release, in New Delhi April 11, 2015. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

A supporter of Shiv Sena holds Pakistan’s national flag and a portrait of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi during a protest against Lakhvi’s release, in New Delhi April 11, 2015. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

The move provoked a sharp rebuke from India, which warned that relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbours were deteriorating. The United States said it was “gravely” concerned by the court move.

 

 

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