Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that there was Pakistan’s involvement in the 26/11 attacks. Speaking at Thiruvananthapuram, the Home Minister said that key 26/11 conspirator Abu Jindal has confirmed Pakistan involvement in the 26/11 attacks. However, he said that there was no pinpointing to any particular agency yet.
“There was state involvement in 26/11 attack. Jindal has confirmed that to us. No pinpointing to any particular agency,” Chidambaram said. Chidambaram also said that India had been tracking Abu Jindal for almost a year and hunted him down successfully. “Today the world appreciates the restraint we have shown. We have been tracking Abu Jindal for nearly a year. We tracked him, found him and apprehended him,” Chidambaram said.
Chidambaram also lashed out at Pakistan for not acting effectively against the 26/11 accused. “The world appreciates how India is tracking every one of the accused in the 26/11 case. In contrast, Pakistan comes out poorly as a country in denial,” he said.
The Home Minister said that Pakistan was under pressure and has asked India to share information on Jindal with them He, however, said that India will share information if Pakistan keeps its promise of acting against terrorists. “Yesterday I got a note from Rehman Malik requesting that India share information about Jindal with Pakistan. We will do that in due course, but I insist that Pakistan keeps its promise and gives us the voice samples of all those whose list I have given. Let’s see how Pakistan reacts. It’s Pakistan who is under pressure,” the Home Minister said.
This comes close on the heels of the India-Pakistan Foreign Minister level talks, scheduled to take place in July and is likely to be the top focus in the talks.
Sources say investigating agencies are now trying to track down the man who inducted Abu Jindal into LeT. They also say that Jindal was involved in planning the 26/11 Mumbai attack since early 2008. In 2006, Jindal went to Pakistan via Bangladesh.
Jindal was arrested from the Indira Gandhi International Airport on June 21 and is in the custody of Delhi Police till July 5. The Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad has now produced a production warrant in Delhi’s Tis Hazari court for Jindal’s interrogation.
The ATS wants to question him regarding the Aurangabad arms haul case of May 2006 and the German Bakery blast case of February 2010. The ATS also wants to question him regarding the sleeper cells active in Maharashtra and about his alleged connections with the Indian Mujahideen.
The Indian Mujahideen was allegedly behind the 13/7 serial blasts in Mumbai in 2011 and the ATS had filed a chargesheet in the case last month.
Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will continue questioning him on Wednesday. The Intelligence Bureau and Delhi Police officials also interrogated Jindal on Tuesday.
Sources say Jindal has given inputs about the Lashkar-e-Toiba’s sleeper cells in the country to the police, based on which, police teams will be carrying out raids across Maharashtra. Police say Jindal used a different name in each incident he was involved in and has been questioned about all terror attacks that took place in the past six to seven years.
Sources say that Abu Jindal was involved with all aspects of 26/11 attack. He admitted that the planning for the attack began in early 2008. Jindal told interrogators that he knows top operatives of other terror groups including Indian Mujahideen’s Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal and used to meet them in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Jindal has told interrogators he was sent to Saudi Arabia by LeT to recruit Indians living in the kingdom and raise finances. He also said he had used a Pakistani passport with the active help of the ISI.
Jindal’s questioning also revealed he was first arrested by Saudi authorities a year ago and remained jailed for several months before being deported. Sources said the fact he is an Indian made his deportation easier, a key development which was played down by the government.
Sources said Jindal was more critical as unlike Ajmal Kasab, who was a foot soldier, Jindal was in the control room and a key part of planning.
The Mumbai Crime Branch will now want to confront Jindal with Kasab, the foot soldier who carried out the attacks, and corroborate evidence provided by the latter with those of Jindal, with his voice samples being the key.