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India hopes to get voice samples of 26/11 accused

Posted on Nov 11, 08:00AM | IANS

India Saturday said the dates of Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik's visit to the country had not yet been finalised and expressed hope that it will get voice samples of the handlers of the 26/11 terror attack.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters here that India had asked Pakistan to hand over voice samples of those who had been handling and directing the terrorists during the attack in Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people.

He said the Pakistan authorities will consult their legal department and they "may come to us with something".

Officials said suggestions had been made to Pakistan authorities that speeches of the accused in 26/11 could be used as voice samples.

They said Islamabad had conveyed that it was framing a new law under which voice samples of an accused could be taken legally.

India wanted to send a National Investigation Agency team to Pakistan to examine the material evidence collected against 26/11 terror attack accused, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and six others undergoing trial in Pakistan.

Home Secretary R.K. Singh said the Pakistan government had filed an application in a court there to have day-to-day hearing in the case concerning 26/11 attack in Mumbai.

He said India had also told Pakistan that there were "some ring leaders who also need to be put on trial".

R.K. Singh said that the decision of reviving the bilateral cricket ties was not taken by his ministry but it had taken up the responsibility of ensuring security for the players.

"We are competent enough to live up to that (expectation)," he said.

Asked about the proposed visit of Malik to India, Shinde said the dates for the visit had not been finalised yet.

He said the schedule of Malik's visit to New Delhi would be given a final shape in consultation with the external affairs ministry and other departments.

Initially, it was proposed that Malik's visit could take place from Nov 12-13 but Pakistan was told that it would not be possible because of Diwali.

He said Nov 22-23 were also proposed as possible dates but these clashed the with parliament's upcoming winter session.

About the steps taken on the proposed National Counterterrorism Centre, Shinde said he would soon write to all chief ministers explaining the necessity of setting up the anti-terror body.

Responding to queries on anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal's charges against the government, Shinde said everyone was "free to speak in democracy".