1993 Mumbai blasts: Masterminds hiding in Pak safe havens, says Sushilkumar Shinde

Sushilkumar Shinde

With Dawood Ibrahim, the man behind the 1993 Mumbai bombings, still out of its reach, India on Tuesday said the masterminds of the heinous serial blasts are sitting in safe havens in Pakistan which has taken no action against them despite being provided with credible evidence.

Addressing the Interpol General Assembly here, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said India continues to face a "high degree" of terrorist threats on several fronts, in particular of cross-border terrorism.

"Terrorism in South Asia has increasingly emerged as an effective strategic weapon," he said.

The Home Minister said in spite of regular dialogue with the neighbouring country and handing over of credible evidence to it, the masterminds of one of the most heinous act of terror of last century the 1993 Mumbai blasts in which 257 people died and 713 were injured were still sitting in safe havens and yet to be brought to book.

"Their presence in a neighbouring country is well known and Interpol Red Notices against them, who are Indian nationals, are pending since 1993," he said, in a clear reference to Pakistan, where underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and some others wanted in India are hiding.

Shinde said terrorist groups have demonstrated that with simple tactics and low-tech weapons, they can produce vastly disproportionate results as had happened in the 26/11 attack.

"Terrorist attacks have exacted a heavy toll of life and property. Terrorists have tried to disrupt our way of life by attempting to initiate the element of fear. Fortunately, the Indian society has time and again shown its resilience and refused to be overawed by the terrorist acts," he said.

Strongly favouring international cooperation to achieve visible results in curbing the menace, Shinde said New Delhi was committed to combating terrorism and extremism in all forms and manifestations as no cause genuine or imaginary can justify terrorism or violence.

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