A Divided Maharashtra Cabinet Discusses Report into 26/11

A strongly divided Maharashtra cabinet continue discussions on the report of the Ram Pradhan committee into the 26/11 terror attacks on Tuesday, with one group of minister proposing another panel to study it and other questioning as to why only former police commissioner Hasan Gafoor had been singled out for transfer.

According to official sources, the cabinet met for two hours to hold discussions on the report again. The report, scheduled to be tabled in the legislature on Tuesday afternoon, was first discussed on Monday.

An official said that some cabinet members have proposed constituting another committee to study it in detail keeping in view the possibility of an opposition onslaught on the ruling Democratic Front government over the report.

Some ministers, while mentioning the reports that the Mumbai police was given a clean chit, wanted to know why former police commissioner Hasan Gafoor was the only one to be singled out for a transfer.

An official privy to the discussion revealed that some ministers said that the report had clearly spoken of ‘intelligence failure’ and questioned the appointment of D Shivananandan, commissioner of the State Intelligence Department at the time of the terror attacks, as city police chief.

The issue of the sudden transfer of 17 Indian Police Service officers last Saturday and the fate of then Maharashtra director general of police A N Roy also came up.

After the report was submitted last fortnight, the government had set up a two-member committee comprising Chief Secretary Johny Joseph and Additional Chief Secretary (home) Chandra Iyengar to prepare an action taken report (ATR).

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had said that the Pradhan Committee report and the ATR would be presented before the legislature simultaneously.

Tuesday is the last day of the legislature’s monsoon-cum-budget session. The government has already come under attack from the opposition for not allowing a discussion on the Pradhan Committee report by deliberately tabling it on the final day.

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