In a bizarre turn to the controversy over the visa papers of two terror suspects arrested in the US, government on Thursday spoke in contradictory voices with the Foreign Office stating that some papers were untraced while the Home Ministry maintaining that these papers were "in store".
Confusion persisted over the status of the papers on the basis of which multi-entry visas were issued by the Indian Consulate in Chicago to David Headley, an American-Pakistani and Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian-Pakistani, both arrested by the
FBI for plotting terror attacks against India.
Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor told reporters in New Delhi that Rana's papers have been found but those of Headley were being traced.
However, a highly placed source in the Home Ministry, when asked about Headley's papers, said "indications from Chicago are that the papers are in store. Nothing has been lost. We will get them by tomorrow."
Taken together, the remarks by Tharoor and the Home Ministry official would mean that papers of both Rana and Headley are with the Indian Consulate in Chicago. But that still doesn't clear the confusion.
The Foreign Office, which had fuelled speculation on Wednesday that the papers may be missing by stating that a factual report has been sought from the Chicago mission, today took the line that it would be inaccurate to conclude that the
visa applications were missing.