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Govt contradicts itself on 'missing' Headley papers

Last updated on: December 17, 2009 19:04 IST

Confusion over the visa papers of two terror suspects arrested in the US persisted on Thursday with Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor indicating that terror suspect David Headley's papers were untraced, but his own ministry maintaining that such a conclusion would be inaccurate.

Reports that the papers relating to issuance of visas to Headley, an American-Pakistani, and suspected Lashkar operative Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian-Pakistani, issued by the Indian Consulate in Chicago were missing, have led to a major controversy prompting External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to state that government has asked for a "preliminary report" from Consul General Ashok Atri on the issue.

"After I get the report, we will see how we can proceed with it. I do not pre-judge anything that has appeared in the media, but certainly the government is aware of its responsibilities and we will discharge that," Krishna said.

However, giving another dimension, Tharoor said, "Rana's visa papers have been found. We are tracing those of Headley's."

He was asked to comment on reports about disappearance of documents related to the visas issued by the Indian Consulate in Chicago.

The MEA sought to downplay the whole issue saying it would not be correct to conclude that the visa applications were missing.
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