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Pak hand, says NSA; Arjun, Antulay have a different take

At a Cabinet discussion on the Government’s response to the terror attacks in Mumbai, while National Security Advisor M K Narayanan pointed a finger at Pakistan...

Written by Shishir Gupta | New Delhi |
July 14, 2006 4:33:19 am

At a Cabinet discussion on the Government’s response to the terror attacks in Mumbai, while National Security Advisor M K Narayanan pointed a finger at Pakistan, two Ministers tried to make the point that it was routine for Hindu groups to blame Muslims for acts of violence.

HRD Minister Arjun Singh, sources said, quoted a retired Maharashtra judge as having alleged that the attempted attack on RSS headquarters in Nagpur was a frame-up by the Sangh itself. And Minority Affairs Minister A R Antulay cited reports that a mystery blast in Maharashtra’s Nanded in April was orchestrated by Hindus posing as Muslims.

Sources said this prompted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to urge the Ministers to refrain from raising “divisive issues” in the Cabinet before bringing them to his attention.

Meanwhile, holding Pakistan responsible for infiltration from PoK, Nepal and Bangladesh, Narayanan indicated to the Cabinet that Pak-based groups were behind the Mumbai serial blasts and all efforts were on to nail the link.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil briefed the Cabinet on the attacks and steps taken by the government. This included trip of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav to Mumbai and the compensation given to the victims.

Clearly not satisfied by the Home Minister’s reply, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar requested NSA Narayanan to give his assessment on the issue. The NSA admitted that he only had a “macro picture” and not the details of the twin attacks.

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