Mumbai, Dec. 21: The Maharashtra government today tabled the 26/11 probe report in the legislature more than a year after the attacks but succeeded in staving off a potentially explosive discussion in the House by persuading the Opposition to discuss it only before a 16-member all-party committee.
As the lawmakers sought to put a veil on the report, which has raised questions about the intelligence apparatus and the absence of leadership, Pakistani gunman Mohammed Ajmal Kasab continued with his free run of denials in court.
After denying on Friday that he opened fire at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Kasab today said he had no hand in the killing of policemen, among them Hemant Karkare, then anti-terrorism chief.
Home minister R.R. Patil tabled a Marathi translation of the report submitted by the two-member comm- ittee headed by former Union home secretary Ram Pra-dhan.
Patil, who had initially said making the report public would not be in the interest of Maharashtra, relented under pressure from the Opposition.
But he said a 16-member House committee appointed by the chief minister would study the reports findings and no discussion would be held on the floor of the legislature.
The government had swept the report under the carpet during the monsoon session of the Assembly in June. It instead tabled an 18-page Action To Be Taken Report accepting certain recommendations made by the committee of Pradhan and former RAW official V. Balachandran.
The government had also rejected the reports principal finding indicting then police commissioner Hasan Gafoor for absence of visible and actual leadership. Gafoor was later promoted.
The report tabled today praised Mumbai polices response to the attacks, but blames the lapses on the intelligence gathering apparatus, non-adherence to the standard operating procedure laid down and the lack of equipment and preparation.
The committee has not found any serious lapses in the conduct of any individual officer. What we have found are instances of lack of: intelligent appreciation of threats, handling of intelligence, maintaining high degree of efficiency in instruments specifically set up to deal with terrorist attacks and certainly lack of overt and visible leadership in carrying out operations to face multi-targeted attacks, the report said.
The government has been asked to make a statement in the Assembly tomorrow on special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikams alleged statement that a former Union minister had put pressure on him to speed up the 26/11 trial for electoral gains, adds PTI.