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26/11: ‘India to urge Interpol to execute arrest warrants’

Trial court hearing 26/11 terror attack cases issued non-bailable warrants against 22 absconding accused,including Hafeez Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

Written by Reuters | New Delhi |
June 24, 2009 12:55:30 pm

India will urge Pakistan to arrest a key Islamist militant leader for his role in the Mumbai attacks,a day after an arrest warrant was issued against the raid’s alleged mastermind,an official said on Wednesday.

The trial court hearing the 26/11 terror attack cases on Tuesday issued non-bailable warrants against 22 absconding accused,including Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafeez Saeed and head of operations of Lashkar-e-Toiba Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi,for their role in the conspiracy that led to the Mumbai attacks last November,in which 175 people were killed.

Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam submitted a list of the absconding accused along with their addresses to the trial court and sought issuance of warrants against them.

A month after the Nov. 26 attacks,Pakistani authorities put Saeed under house arrest after a UN Security Council committee added him and the Islamist charity he heads to a list of people and organisations linked to al Qaeda or the Taliban.

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But a Pakistani court ordered his release earlier this month due to lack of evidence,angering India,who said Islamabad had enough evidence to put Saeed behind bars again.

“The issuing of the arrest warrant provides Pakistan an opportunity to arrest Saeed again,” Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said.

“We will urge Interpol to execute the arrest warrants and Pakistani police to act on it,” he said by telephone.

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He is one of 38 people charged by India as key planners of the attacks.

India also gave Pakistan a dossier of information shortly after the attack and followed it up with what it said was more evidence that Pakistan could use to prosecute the guilty.

Indian officials say Pakistan needs to act faster on the investigation.

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Nikam said the prosecution was furnishing evidence against five more Pakistani nationals for their role in the attacks.

“We are collecting more data and will shortly ask for their arrest warrants as well,” Nikam said.

Hafiz Saeed founded the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group in 1990,and for years it battled Indian forces in Kashmir.

Saeed stepped down as LeT leader shortly after India accused the group of being behind an attack on its parliament in December 2001. The group was banned in Pakistan in January 2002.

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First published on: 24-06-2009 at 12:55:30 pm
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