New Delhi: Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday sparked controversy by calling 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafeez Saeed as ‘Shri’ Hafeez Saeed.

Making a statement in the Rajya Sabha, a day after Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik concluded his three-day visit to India, the minister agreed that Pakistan has been misleading India on the arrest of Saeed.

"Mr Rehman Malik, Interior Minister of Pakistan has been telling us repeatedly that he had arrested Mr Hafiz Saeed thrice and that on each occasion, he was let off by the courts for lack of evidence," Shinde said.

"We had been given to understand by the Interior Minister of Pakistan that Mr Hafiz Saeed had been arrested on the charges of being a part of the conspiracy for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. .... When we pursued this matter, they have given us papers pertaining to the detentions of Shri Hafiz Saeed in 2002 and 2009."

"From the papers given to us, it is clear that the detentions of Shri Hafiz Saeed in the aforesaid cases were for other reasons and not for his role as a conspirator in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Therefore, I can only say that Mr Rehman Malik appears to have been misinformed in the matter," the Minister said.

Meanwhile, the BJP on Monday demanded cancellation of the upcoming Indo-Pak cricket series in the wake of visiting dignitary’s remarks ‘insulting’ India. The party also accused the Home Minister of remaining silent by not responding appropriately to Malik, who had also equated 26/11 with Babri Masjid demolition and described LeT terrorist Abu Jundal as an operative of Indian intelligence agencies.

(JPN/Bureau)

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