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India reacts strongly to Lakhvi's release, lodges protest

India reacts strongly to Lakhvis release, lodges protest

New Delhi/Islamabad: India, reacting strongly to the release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi on Friday, summoned the Pakistan high commissioner in New Delhi to lodge a protest.

The issue also found echo in the house of elders in parliament with members protesting against the release.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said India has asked the Pakistani authorities to ensure that Lakhvi is not released from jail.

Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit was summoned on Friday and a strong protest was lodged against the Islamabad High Court's order to release Lakhvi, official sources said.

Basit, however, refused to say anything to media persons when he emerged from the meeting.

Talking to reporters here, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said: "All documents related to his involvement in the Mumbai attack case have not been presented in Pakistani courts. Hence the (Islamabad) court has ordered his release."

Rijiju said: "We want that the Pakistan government should take this matter seriously and take steps to ensure that he doesn't come out of jail."

The Rajya Sabha briefly witnessed uproar as members sought to raise the issue

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Pramod Tiwari of the Congress said: "The Mumbai terror attack happened in India. If a criminal incident takes place inside the country, the legal case should be filed within the boundary of the country. Lakhvi is under arrest in Pakistan; he has been released on bail."

Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien, however, did not permit Tiwari to raise the issue as he had not given proper notice in this regard.

"It is a matter of national interest," said Tiwari, urging the chair for permission to raise the issue.

He was, however, told to raise the issue in the next sitting of the house.

Congress leader Rajeev Shukla, however, said: "The matter will be redundant by the next day... If he has been granted bail today (Friday), how can we raise it later".

Kurien then pointed out that the issue was already on record in the house.

The Islamabad High Court on Friday declared Lakhvi's detention orders illegal and ordered his immediate release.

Lakhvi, along with six other suspects, was under detention since February 2009.

He is accused of being the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008 in which 166 people, many of them foreigners, were killed and hundreds wounded.

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