Embarrassed by the goof-ups in the “50 most wanted” list of terror fugitives given to Pakistan in March, the Centre on Friday directed the nation's probe agencies — the CBI, the Intelligence Bureau (IB), and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) — to conduct a process of comprehensive verification and correction upon the list.
At the same time, the Union Home Ministry asked all States, Union Territories and investigating agencies to update their list of wanted persons every three months and keep the Centre informed about it.
On its part, the CBI — which is also the designated National Crime Bureau (NCB) that deals with Interpol matters such as issuing of Red Corner Notices — said it had decided to undertake a quarterly review of wanted persons. The agency has also withdrawn from its website the list of accused persons against whom Red Corner Notices were issued, and put it up for a thorough scrutiny. “We are totally revamping the Interpol Wing,” said CBI sources.
Referring to the goof-up in having included in the list the name of Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan alias Hamza, an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case who was arrested in February last, the sources said the “mistake” was detected on Wednesday — the day on which Home Minister P. Chidambaram admitted that the inclusion of the name of Khan Wazhul Kamar in the list was a “genuine mistake” as he was found to be living in a Mumbai suburb.
“This kind of mistake is unacceptable; it is of a very serious nature. Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan was our accused in a case investigated by our agency. As we maintain the list of accused persons against whom Interpol Red Corner Notices have been issued, we are writing to all State governments to inform us if any of the accused is arrested so that his name can be deleted from the list,” the sources said.
In some cases, the Red Corner Notices date back to 10 to 15 years, the sources said. The CBI had given 27 names that figured in the list of “50 most wanted” fugitives.
Official sources said the Home Ministry had directed the CBI, the IB, and the NIA to thoroughly verify the names of terrorists which were submitted to Pakistan in March this year.
“After preparing a correct, error-free list, we may send it to Pakistan,” sources at the Home Ministry said.