ATS, Crime Branch wash hands off fugitive list goof-up

Mumbai: The Mumbai police has sought to wash their hands off the goof-up in the list of India`s 50 `most wanted` fugitives given to Pakistan after a terror accused, figuring in the document, was found living in neighbouring Thane.

Wazhul Kamar Khan alias Murtuza Choudhary`s name was at number 41 in the list that was handed over to Pakistan during Secretary-level talks in March and made public recently.

The 44-year-old man, who was arrested last year for his alleged role in the 2003 Mulund train blasts here, has been living in Thane`s Waghle Estate with his mother, wife and children, after he was let out on bail, police sources said.

Neither the Anti-Terrorism Squad nor Mumbai police`s Crime Branch is accepting any lapse on their part that led to the gaffe.

"We have not given any such name to the Central government," a top ATS official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

In the same vein, a senior IPS officer with the Crime Branch said, "We were not contacted by anybody before preparing the list. The Central security agencies are responsible for the goof-up. Had they contacted us, we would have updated them about Khan`s arrest."

Khan had been arrested by the ATS from suburban Kurla with a 7.65 mm pistol and three live cartridges on May 10 last year.

He was subsequently sent to judicial custody in a case registered under the Arms Act when the Mumbai`s crime branch, probing the blast cases, arrested him in the Mulund blast case on May 21.