New Delhi: A day after slamming the Mumbai police for allegedly botch up the July 2011 serial blasts probe, the central government Tuesday lauded Maharashtra’s anti-terror force for cracking the case but admitted to the lack of coordination between the investigating agencies.
Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh denied there was any rift between the Delhi Police and its Mumbai counterpart, saying: “I am happy that Maharashtra ATS (Anti-Terrorism Squad) cracked the case.”
The praise came a day after the union home ministry was believed to have rapped ATS chief Rakesh Maria for having announced the arrest of three alleged terrorists involved in the bombings.
The home ministry claimed that one of the arrested, Naqee Ahmed Sheikh of Darbhanga in Bihar, was in fact an informer who worked for Delhi Police and Intelligence Bureau (IB).
The home secretary admitted that Sheikh was an informer but said that didn’t mean he won’t have been involved in the terror strike.
“It is true that Intelligence Bureau and Delhi Police were running an operation in which this person was an informer. But the fact that he was an informer in a particular operation in which he was supposed to lead these people to the location is separate,” he said.
“The ATS has come to that conclusion after investigation,” he said, about that claims that Sheikh had allegedly helped Indian Mujahideen mastermind Yasin Bhatkal set up the July 13, 2011 Mumbai triple blasts.
He said the investigating agencies needed better coordination and for that the union home ministry has decided to set up a terror-related data hub at the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). The government recently approved the NCTC proposal and it is likely to be set up soon.
“There were coordination problems between Maharashtra ATS and Delhi Police. To improve coordination between agencies, NCTC will be put on ground soon,” the home secretary said.
Mumbai police Monday announced that it had arrested three men who were involved in the 13/7 bombings that killed 27 people.
But the claim came in for flak from the central government, with the home secretary pulling up ATS chief Maria, according to sources.
The home secretary is believed to have told Maria that the Mumbai police, besides arresting a wrong man, had also botched up a carefully launched covert operation to arrest Indian Mujahideen operatives.