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Is Lashkar commander Lakhvi enjoying prison stay?

Last updated on: November 28, 2012 13:01 IST

Is Lashkar commander Lakhvi enjoying prison stay?

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Vicky Nanjappa

Lakhvi is a top-ranking prisoner in Pakistan. It does not appear as though he is in judicial custody, but looks like he is living a normal life. Vicky Nanjappa reports

How has Lashkar-e-Tayiba commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi fathered a child when he has been in jail for the 26/11 attacks? That's the interesting question that India has posed to Pakistan.

The Indian government has sought clarity on the issue as it has reason to believe that the Mumbai terror attack mastermind is being handed various privileges that terrorism suspects ought not to be getting.

The query comes after Abu Jundal, the Indian handler in the 26/11 attack, was asked by the Delhi Police about his relationship with Lakhvi.

While speaking about his proximity with the Lashkar's operations chief, he also narrated a conversation he had with him during one of their phone calls.

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In 2010, Jundal called up Lakhvi while the latter was in the Adiala jail. During the conversation, the Lashkar commander told Jundal that he has just fathered a child to which the latter expressed happiness and congratulated him.

Lakhvi further told Jundal that the jail authorities had allowed his youngest wife to visit him in jail and that he was also given conjugal rights under a special arrangement.

A Delhi Police official, when contacted by rediff.com, said that this information was passed on to the Union home ministry.

The details came as a bit of a surprise for us. From what Jundal has told us it appears that Lakhvi is leading the life of a very high-profile prisoner in Pakistan, the official said.

While Pakistan laws do permit conjugal rights, India's bigger concern is that the same ought not to have been provided for an accused who was part of such a major terror attack.

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An Intelligence Bureau official said that Lakhvi is a top-ranking prisoner today in Pakistan. It does not appear as though he is in judicial custody, but looks like he is living a normal life out of jail.

If they hand out so many privileges to him it would mean he has access to a mobile phone too and is allowed to make calls at will, the official said, adding that India needs to be concerned because he is this man is capable of marshalling forces through phone calls and this has to be prevented at any cost.

The official also said that the idea of putting him behind bars was to try him for the 26/11 case and also ensure that he does not have access to the Lashkar cadres and plan more attacks from jail. The very meaning and purpose has been defeated if a man such as Lakhvi is given such rights.

The case against Lakhvi is very strong. Pakistan has indirectly acknowledged his role in the attack and even the courts in the United States have found him guilty of terrorism.

Jundal's interrogation makes it clear that Lakhvi was part of the control room in Karachi, which guided the attack on 26/11 and all evidence points towards his role.

Pakistan, however, is yet to reply to India's query.

Apart from Lakhvi, India has also sought information on the trials against Abu Qama, Zarar Shah, Amin Sadiq and Jameel Riaz who are being tried by an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi.




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