Stung by media reports that it botched up a crucial undercover operation by the Delhi police, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has registered its protest with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) against "news plants against the ATS".
The Delhi police have claimed that because of the ATS, key suspects in the 13/7 blasts case including Yasin Bhatkal alias Shahrukh of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) have escaped.
Terming the behaviour of Delhi police as unprofessional, the ATS in its letter to the MHA, said that the stories published were fabricated. "The state home department is likely to take up the matter with the Union home minister," a senior ATS officer said. He claimed that the news leaks were being planted by certain officers of the Delhi police.
The official further added they were on track as far as the investigation was concerned and pointed out that even Union home minister P Chidambaram had reviewed the progress on three occasions when he was in the city. "Had there been any lacuna, the case would have been transferred [to the NIA]," he said.
"We have not spoiled anyone's investigations and the way in which the Delhi police has acted does not suit the behaviour of a public servant," the officer said. However, the officer did admit that amid all the chaos, some people involved in the 13/7 blasts case may have slipped away.
The special cell of the Delhi police was tracking two Pakistani nationals Waqar and Tabrez who were in the city for the past 11 months. The police suspect that Yasin would visit the duo frequently. The Delhi police claim that the ATS nabbed their informer, which alerted the three, who fled the city on January 1.