Two years after a slew of arrests of alleged Indian Mujahideen operatives and registration of multiple FIRs by several investigation agencies, the Delhi High Court has summoned the union home secretary to explain which agency is actually investigating the “larger conspiracy” of the IM to carry out terror attacks.
The home secretary has been asked by the bench of Justice V P Vaish to appear in person on April 24, and explain the “contradictory versions” of the Delhi Police and the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Pulling up the two agencies for “wasting precious time of the court”, Justice Vaish said the home secretary must “apprise this court about the anomaly created by… NIA and the Special Cell of Delhi Police concerning investigation of this case”, since both agencies report to the home ministry.
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Between July and November 2012, suspected IM operatives, including their alleged ‘trainer’ Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, were arrested by the Special Cell in connection with terror attacks across India.
In the weeks that followed, investigation agencies from several states took custody of the suspects for questioning on the attacks in their states. Meanwhile, FIRs on the “larger conspiracy” were filed by the NIA in June 2012 and by the Special Cell in July 2012.
Two suspects, Syed Maqbool and Imran Khan, who were arrested in October 2012 and are accused in the blasts at Dilsukhnagar, Hyderabad, and the German Bakery, Pune, filed bail applications last year. During proceedings in the high court, the question of which agency is investigating their case superseded the issue of their bail.
On February 18, the court issued summons to NIA’s IG (Policy) and the joint commissioner of police, Special Cell, after lawyers for each agency submitted that the case was being investigated by the other. On March 20, the court directed that the home secretary be summoned.