Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Sunday said the Centre could not interfere in the Tarun Tejpal sexual assault case.

Responding to allegations of the BJP that the Congress was trying to protect Mr. Tejpal, he said, “We do not protect a criminal in any way. The case is being handled by a different State, so the Centre cannot interfere in it.”

An inquiry would be conducted on the alleged snooping charges against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. “Union and State Home Secretaries are authorised to take action against illegal snooping. Snooping cannot be done without their permission,” he said.

Mr. Shinde was speaking at the inauguration of the Punjab Kesari office here.

Dabholkar case

When asked if there was a delay in investigating the Narendra Dabholkar murder case with no headway even 100 days after the murder, Mr. Shinde said he had met Mr. Dabholkar’s family members. “I have spoken to the State government. They are trying their best. I am told they have some clues.”

Thackeray memorial

Speaking about the former Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, Mr. Shinde who is on an all-party committee for constructing his memorial, said he looked at Thackeray beyond his belonging to an aggressive political party. “One cannot forget the contribution of his father Prabodhankar Thackeray and what he did to uplift the Dalits of Maharashtra. I will not speak about Bal Thackeray’s other activities,” he added.

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