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'I've nothing to do with the terrorist'

Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Education Fauzia Khan yesterday denied any links with arrested 26/11 terrorist Abu Jindal alias Zabiuddin Ansari. Khan’s denial came after allegations that Jindal, the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, allegedly spent a day in a room belonging to Khan at the old legislators’ hostel near Mantralaya in 2009. Khan was then a member of legislative council.


Same origin: Both Fauzia Khan and (inset) Abu Jindal hail from the Beed district in Maharashtra. File pics

“Many people stay at my government accommodation and it is not possible for me to be aware of the credentials of every one of them,” said Khan while reacting to the allegation. She, however, conceded to fully cooperating with the police in the investigation. “I have no idea why my name is being dragged into this. I do not know Jindal,” Khan said.

“I am ready to face any kind of inquiry to clear my name. I have nothing to do with the terrorist,” she added. Jindal, a native of Beed district, stayed in Pakistan for sometime before leaving for Saudi Arabia where he was working as a teacher. Khan is from the same area. Jindal, who has 26 aliases, was one of six people who were holed up in a “control room” in Karachi and directing the audacious Mumbai attack by 10 Pakistani terrorists in November 2008. The carnage left 166 people dead.

He was one of those who were heard on radio intercepts directing the terrorists to their targets in Mumbai and telling them who to kill. He had trained the killers to speak Hindi. It came to light on Monday that Jindal, an alleged member of the Indian Mujahideen group, was arrested at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on June 21 after his deportation from Saudi Arabia. A court sent him to 15 days police custody.

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