After the Centre, it is the state government’s turn to lash out at Anti-Terrorism Squad chief, K.P. Raghuvanshi for sharing sensitive information about terror suspects with journalists.
Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram, had on Tuesday told the state government to act against Raghuvanshi for revealing too much too soon. On Wednesday, Chief Minister, Ashok Chavan, said he would consult Home Minister R. R. Patil before taking a final decision.
“The Centre is certainly unhappy with Raghuvanshi,” Chavan told journalists after the customary tea party on the eve of the Legislature’s budget session. “I will talk to the Home Minister about this [taking action against Raghuvanshi].”
Patil was unavailable for comment.
Chavan said Raghuvanshi’s loose talk did considerable damage to investigations. “I feel investigation details should not be revealed [to journalists] so that it doesn’t affect the probe,” Chavan said.
The ATS had nabbed two men — Abdul Latif Sheikh (29) and Riyaz Ali (23) — on Sunday for allegedly plotting to set fire to the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation installations, Thakkar Mall in Borivli and Mangaldas Market in south Mumbai.
In a press conference after their arrest, Raghuvanshi said that the duo was trained in Pakistan and was in touch with terror groups there. Raghuvanshi also said that the suspects had been talking to somebody in Pakistan they referred to as “chacha [uncle]”. This person, Raghuvanshi said, seemed to be their handler in Pakistan. He said the ATS was tracking the two for two weeks before arresting them.
The Opposition is also likely to raise the issue in the Legislative Session that begins on Thursday.
The families of the suspects have, however, claimed the men are innocent.
Raghuvanshi was appointed chief of the ATS in June 2009. He was serving as acting chief of the anti-terror agency since November 2008 after then ATS chief, Hemant Karkare was killed in the 26/11 terror attacks.
The Centre has told the state government to either initiate a probe against Raghuvanshi or remove him from office.