NEW DELHI (TIP): In a huge embarrassment to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who had earlier said the US agencies were helping India nab Dawood Ibrahim, Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran claimed that the ministry had made no formal request seeking the US aid so far. “No such formal request has been made by this ministry to the US government,” Ramachandran informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
The Centre’s response came in reply to a question of Shiv Sena member Anil Desai, who asked if it was true that the government had requested the US government to track down the wanted terrorist. Shinde has been publically claiming that efforts to arrest Dawood are being made along with US agencies. Dawood is believed to be living in Pakistan since 1993 when he fled to that country after the serial blasts in Mumbai for which he is wanted.
“As per our information, Dawood is in Pakistan. When I went to America last year to discuss inland security, I met the attorney general who looks after the FBI,” Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had said on January 10. Adding that there is coordination between the two countries he had said, “I talked to him and we decided that we would pass whatever information we have on Dawood among each other. We decided we will make joint efforts.”
Even former home secretary R. K. Singh has contested Shinde’s claim in the past, saying that the US agencies didn’t talk about Dawood during his US visit. After Shinde took over as the Union home minister, security agencies successfully have managed to bring back to India at least four big terrorists. Other than the arrests of Abdul Karim Tunda, who is wanted in several bomb blasts cases, and a top Indian Mujahideen commander Yasin Bhatkal last year, India convinced Saudi Arabia to deport key plotter of 26/ 11 Mumbai attack Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal and LeT operative Fasih Mahmood in 2012. Jundal – an accused in Ahmedabad Railway Station blast case, Auran gabad arms haul case and German bakery blast case – was deported from Saudi Arabia in June 2012.
Fasih Mahmood, an LeT operative from Bihar, was allegedly involved in Chinnaswamy Stadium blast in Bangalore and a terror attack at Jama Masjid. US intel agencies have been tracking Dawood’s activities over the years. According to the US, Dawood maintains close links with al- Qaeda. As a result, the US declared him as a global terrorist.