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US helping in securing Indian Railways?

Last updated on: February 23, 2010 23:25 IST

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller on Tuesday discussed counter-terrorism cooperation with Home Minister P Chidambaram and top security officials, after which it was disclosed that the US was helping in securing India's vast railway system.

The 20-minute meeting with the Home minister took place in the backdrop of the Pune terror blast. US Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer was present.

On his second visit to India in recent months, Mueller also met new National Advisor Shiv Shanker Menon. His other meetings were with Chief of Intelligence Bureau Rajiv Mathur and top officials handling counter-terrorism.

A statement issued by the US embassy on Mueller's discussions spoke of "robust and active" counter-terror cooperation between the two countries and disclosed that American Rail authorities had travelled to New Delhi and Mumbai to "observe first hand the enormous task of securing India's vast railway system."

Subsequently, a team of Indian government and law enforcement officials had travelled to New York City and Washington DC in this connection, the statement said.

The terror attacks in trains in Mumbai and near Delhi have claimed nearly 250 lives in recent past, out of which about 200 were killed in Mumbai train blasts. Over 60 were killed in a blast in Samjhuta Express near Panipat in 2007.

"Terrorism respects no boundaries, and the recent attack in Pune -- where 15 innocent people from around the globe lost their lives-- was a stark reminder that terrorists kill without regard for nationality. We must cooperate globally to protect our citizens locally in their cities, villages, and homes," the statement said.

Mueller is also believed to have discussed among other issues the case of US terror suspect David Coleman Headley, currently in the custody of the American investigating agency, and is understood to have shared information about the probe relating to the Pakistani-American's links to the planning of 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.

Mueller had last visited the country in March last year. His current visit comes after India and the United States shared details of intelligence and investigations in the terror strikes in Mumbai in November 2008 -- a joint effort, which forced Pakistan to admit that a part of the conspiracy was hatched on its soil.

"Our cooperation extends from the highest reaches of both governments and connects across to provide information and training to local law enforcement in both countries," the statement said.

The visit also assumes significance in view of the meet of Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan on Thursday.

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