Interpol: 'India should share Mumbai evidence'

Kamran Haider,Reuters
Tuesday 23 December 2008 13:17 GMT
People light candles as they pay tribute to the victims of the Mumbai terror in 2008
People light candles as they pay tribute to the victims of the Mumbai terror in 2008 (Getty)

India has given no information about last month's attacks in Mumbai to Interpol and information passed to media by Indian investigators should be shared if it is accurate, the police agency's chief said today.

Pakistan, under pressure over Indian accusations that the 10 gunmen who attacked Mumbai came from Pakistan, has complained that India has yet to provide it with any evidence to push its investigation forward.

Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble told a news conference in Islamabad until Indian authorities shared information, police around the world would be unable to make any determination about the identity of the attackers.

"To date, India's government has not authorised India's police agencies to enter any data relating to the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai in Interpol's databases," Noble said.

"The information Interpol has about what happened in Mumbai is the same information that you have. It's information that we've read in journals, that we've read on the Internet or that we've seen on TV," he said.

Tension between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan has spiked since the assault on India's financial heart, which killed 179 people.

India and the United States have blamed the banned Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the attacks.

Pakistan has cracked down on militants and detained scores of people including several top leaders, but it has repeatedly said it needs evidence from India to investigate.

Like Noble, Pakistan says the only information it has received on the Mumbai attacks has come through media reports.

Indian officials have said they have passed on information.


Noble said it was a country's right to decide when it should share information but it was unacceptable for authorities to pass accurate information to media without sharing it with Interpol.

"We can't enter newspaper information in our police databases, we can only enter information that we receive from police authorities," he said.

"Right now, police around the world who are searching names in police databases that you might be familiar with from reading the newspapers ... will get negative responses because that information is not in Interpol's database," he said.

The Indian foreign ministry on Monday handed a letter written by the lone surviving gunman from the Mumbai attacks, Ajmal Amir Kasab, to Pakistan's acting high commissioner in New Delhi.

Kasab said he and the nine gunmen killed in the siege were from Pakistan, the ministry said. Pakistan confirmed its mission had received a letter and it was being examined.

Pakistani Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik said in the letter that "reportedly" came from Kasab, he had asked for legal assistence.

Authorities had searched for Kasab on a database that in theory contains the names of all Pakistanis but they had found nothing, Malik told the news conference.

Malik also said an al Qaeda-linked militant group was behind the September suicide truck-bomb attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad in which 55 people were killed.

"Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is involved in it. We have identified all people and its links are back in South Waziristan," he said, referring to a known al Qaeda and Taliban stronghold in a lawless enclave on the Afghan border.

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