TODAY -

CBI goof-up, Meghen still in India's wanted list
Source: Hueiyen News Service

New Delhi, May 20 2011: As India feel the embarrassment of listing two wrong persons in the dossier containing names of most wanted terrorists handed over to Pakistan, a third blunder has now been noticed.

The CBI was caught on the wrong foot once again as its website mentions Rajkumar Meghen as one of the most wanted despite the fact that he has been in the custody of NIA since October 2010 .

First it was Wazhul Kamar Khan who was recently traced to his residence out on bail, then Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan who was found in a Mumbai jail on Wednesday and now Meghen, the chairman of banned Manipur outfit UNLF.

Though Meghen did not figure in the fugitives' list handed over to Pakistan, his name on the CBI website comes as yet another embarrassment to the agency and the government.

He was arrested on October 29, 2010 by the NIA.

NIA sources told Headlines Today that the information on Meghen's arrest had been shared with the Manipur Police, which had earlier initiated a red-corner notice against him.

They said police should have cancelled the notice, but apparently that did not happen.

Meanwhile, a red-faced central government on Friday said responsibility would be fixed for the lapses on its part.

In its first official reaction, the MHA said it was reviewing the list of most wanted people.

It, however, said that the list would not be recalled as the mistake has been accepted and error regretted.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had on Wednesday admitted the fault in listing Kamar in the Pakistan dossier.

He had held Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Mumbai Police responsible for it.

Kamar was arrested last year in connection with the Mulund train blast in 2003 .

The other mistake, concerning Rashid, had come to light late on Wednesday as the officials were tallying the wanted men's list handed over to Pakistan.

Considered a Dawood Ibrahim aide, he too had been arrested last year in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.

The CBI admitted its mistake in listing Rashid in the list and took action against the responsible officials on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference a day after the goof-up was exposed in the media and facing attack, he contended that it was not such a "monumental mistake" of "calamitous consequence" and said he was prepared to face some "political exchanges" on the issue.

"We take responsibility.

It is a mistake.

How this mistake has happened has been explained subsequently.

CBI through Interpol will notify the arrest of Khan," he said, adding his name has already been removed from the wanted list.

Giving details of the events that led to the "lapse" as he termed it, Chidambaram said it now transpired that the Mumbai Police arrested Khan, an accused in 2003 Mulund blasts, on May 21, 2010 .

However, this information of arrest and the request for consequent Red Corner Notice was not sent by the Mumbai Police to the CBI.

There were further enquiries by CBI with Mumbai Police on Khan on January 27 this year.

The Mumbai Police replied to the query on Tuesday requesting cancellation of the Red Corner Notice as Khan was no longer required by Mumbai Police on account of his arrest last year.

However, the Home Minister revealed that it has been gathered that the Mumbai Police had in January this year conveyed to IB office in Mumbai that Khan had been arrested.

"This information, unfortunately, was not reflected in the list of fugitives maintained by the authorities.

Chidambaram said it would therefore be clear that the failure to formally communicate the fact of the arrest of Khan on May 21 last year to CBI has resulted in the name being retained by the CBI.

Replying to a question whether Khan had travelled to Pakistan, Chidambaram said his name had figured in the 2007 list of wanted.

Now Khan has claimed that he has lost his passport and this will be probed, he said.

"It was a genuine oversight and there will be some degree of human error.

There is no calamitous consequence that you are trying to make out," he said.

Asked about BJP's attack that the goof up reflected the "optimum incompetence" of his Ministry, Chidambaram recalled a statement of LK Advani that as Home Minister he did not know that three terrorists in custody were taken out of jail in December 1999 and taken to Kandahar by the then Foreign Minister.

"Let me ask the BJP leaders if this (Khan episode) marks the level of maximum incompetence, then what that was.

If this brought embarrassment to the country, did that statement not bring disgrace to the country? .

"I think you should allow for some political exchanges on this and should not make an eight column story," he said.

At the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said it was a serious matter and should not have happened.

At the same time, she pointed out that the Home Minister has said that the lapse will be thoroughly probed.


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