Bail to 26/11 accused Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi irks India; Rajnath Singh demands its reversal

Bail granted to Lakhvi unfortunate, says Rajnath Singh

New Delhi, Dec 18: An outraged India on Thursday told Pakistan that release of LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, one of the key conspirators of the Mumbai terror attacks, on bail was unacceptable to it and demanded immediate steps for reversal of the decision.

Terming the bail as ‘very unfortunate’, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh hoped that Pakistan government will appeal in a higher court so that the bail granted to Lakhvi is cancelled.

Speaking to media, the Home Minister said that India had provided all relevant evidence to Pakistan, adding “There might have been some laxity on the part of the concerned prosecuting authorities.”

Rajnath Singh also demanded that India’s most wanted terrorists including Hafiz Saeed should be handed over to India. He said that not only the people of Pakistan, but Indians are equally hurt over the killings of so many innocent children in Peshawar.

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should seize the opportunity in the wake of terror attack on Peshawar school and take bold steps to combat terrorism.

Naidu asked Pakistan to hand over Mumbai terror attack accused Hafiz Saeed and Dawood Ibrahim, who also figures in the country’s most wanted list, to it if the neighbouring country is serious about fighting terrorism.

The BJP on Thursday strongly condemned the granting of bail to top LeT commander, stating that this actions proves that Pakistan is indulging in double standards as far as taking a stand on terrorism is concerned.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy told the media: “Lakhvi was the handler of the Mumbai terror attacks and was present in Pakistan at the time of the incident. Paper trails have established that he was involved. This was an incident in which over 200 people were killed. It was a dark day in Indian history and we got to see another manifestation of such an attack when this week, terrorists had struck in Peshawar.”

Rudy said: “On one hand, Pakistan claims that it wants to eradicate terrorism, but on the other hand Lakhvi has been released by a court in that nation. I feel that this double standard by Pakistan is dangerous and the world must understand this.”

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that Pakistan should reciprocate with positive attitude in response to the maturity shown by India in standing by its side in the hour of grief following the carnage that took place in Peshawar.

Refusing to make any comment on the bail granted to Lakhvi, Parrikar said, “I would not comment on what other nations are doing but things are not working correctly. We have shown our maturity and shown solidarity to the carnage that took place and expressed sympathy. What has happened India has shown a positive attitude towards them and they should reciprocate. But sometimes it doesn’t happen.”

The LeT Commander`s bail comes just days after the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attacked a school in Peshawar.

Political leaders lashed out at the Pakistan government for granting bail to Lakhvi and said the country was not taking the issue of terrorism seriously.

Meanwhile, CPI leader D Raja said that this reelected that Pakistan is not serious about fighting against terrorism.

Raja said: “At least after the Peshawar tragedy, in which more than 130 children were killed, Pakistan should have acted in a very serious manner. Pakistan government should understand this. This doesn’t show that they are serious in fighting against terrorism. This is very shocking regarding their attitude towards 26/11 accused. Pakistan should behave in a mature manner in fighting against terrorism.”

Earlier in the day, Pakistan’s anti-terror court granted bail to Lakhvi. According to reports in The Dawn, Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency’s prosecutor had disagreed with the bail plea, but the court released Lakhvi with surety bonds worth Pakistan Rs 5,00,000.

Lakhvi is one of the prime accused in the terror attacks that took place in Mumbai in 2008, in which 161 people were killed, with over 600 people injured.

Indian security agencies also accuse him of overseeing the 2006 train bombings in Mumbai that saw over 200 casualties.

(With Agency Inputs)

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