Former Home Minister Shivraj Patil refuted allegations that there was a delay on the part of the Home Ministry in sending help to the Maharashtra government during the terror attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, reported ANI. The allegations were made after a news report claimed that a delegation of Indian bureaucrats, led by the then Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, had spent an extra day in Muree, a small hill station in Pakistan, when the terror attacks took place in India.
Patil claimed that he along with 250-300 National Security Guard commandos flew to Mumbai within three hours of the attack. “No aircraft was available here [Delhi], and then we called one from Chandigarh and dispatched 250-300 NSG commandos within two-three hours to Mumbai and I also travelled with them. That was a freight aircraft and we travelled to Mumbai standing,” he said.
A former bureaucrat who was part of the delegation told the Times of India that they had been staying in Islamabad for two days and then the host country made special plans to shift them to a nearby hill resort in Murree. “In retrospect, it leads us to suspect if the real motive was to delay or weaken the response of Indian security brass to the 26/11 strikes," he added.
But Patil rejected the charges that the home secretary-led delegation was enjoying Pakistan’s hospitality in Murree and said they had gone there to meet the Pakistan Interior Minister. Regarding the conspiracy theory doing the rounds, the former minister said, “If it was a conspiracy, then who had conspired? We will have to see whether the person who is saying that it was a conspiracy had presumed it or he got any evidence. I don’t think it is fine for me to pass a judgment on it. Let them say.”