PC talks about HC blasts, AFSPA

The Union Home Minister was addressing the media in the Capital

From Delhi High Court blast to Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Union Home Minister P Chidambaram spoke to media about various issues during an interaction in the Capital on Monday. After National Investigating Agency's (NIA) inability to reach to any specific breakthrough about the real culprits in the High Court blast, Chidambaram suggested that the three Hizbul Mujahideen militants, declared as absconders, hold the key to the entire case.

He was asked whether the case has been solved after the arrest of three people, including a medical student Wasim Akram and two others. "Whether the case has been solved or not is a matter of opinion. The fact is that three key persons have been arrested and they have pointed to three other persons. We have put a reward for them and all the agencies are looking for them. Only when they are arrested, interrogated and their statements are recorded, the agency will be in a position to say whether the case has been solved or not," he said.

Probe still on
NIA recently announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh each for any information leading to the arrest of Junaid Akram, brother of Wasim, Amir Ali and Sheikh Hussain Sheikh, all belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. The probe agency believes all three played crucial role in the conspiracy that led to the blast at the High Court on September 7, in which 15 people were killed. Besides Wasim Akram, NIA has arrested Abid Hussain and Hafiz Aamir Abbas Dev and recorded their confessional statements before a magistrate recently. The three are alleged to have been been involved in sending emails immediately after the blast outside the High Court.
Also, releasing his ministry's monthly report card, Chidambaram said Congress' demand for a discussion on AFSPA was "understandable".

"There is nothing wrong with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's move to remove AFSPA but the Congress' demand for more consultations on the issue was also perfectly understandable," he said. He said the Centre expected Abdullah to come back after the state Cabinet review and maintained the review of application of AFSPA in the state was a part of an eight-point agenda of program decided by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) last year, for restoration of normalcy in the state.

On the delay in making a breakthrough in July 13 Mumbai blast case, the Home Minister hinted at his displeasure. He said there were several leads but no conclusive evidence against any accused. "We would have to take a view on what we would do with Mumbai investigations. Since July 13, a lot of time has passed. We are concerned," he said.

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