Shinde stays put in US despite massacre

Shinde stays put in US despite massacre

Shinde stays put in US despite massacre

At a time when the nation is outraged over the audacious Maoist attack on the Congress leadership in Chhattisgarh, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is on an extended official trip to the US.

Some members of his delegation have, however, returned after attending the Homeland security dialogue between the two nations that concluded on Wednesday.

A 16-member Home Ministry delegation led by Shinde had flown to Washington to primarily attend the second India-US Homeland Security Dialogue, a two-day event beginning May 20. Union Home Secretary R K Singh was also a part of the team.

Interestingly, many officers of the delegation, including R K Singh and a joint secretary, returned to New Delhi on Friday and Saturday, but Shinde continues to be away from the heat in the US, raising eyebrows in the north and south blocks.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi have already visited Chhattisgarh after attack. Sources said it sends a wrong signal that the home minister is not very serious about left-wing extremism, since many ministers curtail their foreign visits in case of serious developments in the country. 

Home Ministry officials, however, claimed that Shinde is in touch with the top brass in the government. He had spoken to the prime minister and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh before deciding on having the NIA investigate into the attack, the officials said. Shinde is also in touch with the home secretary, they pointed out.

As many as 27 persons, including Congress leader Mahendra Karma, PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel and former MLA Uday Mudliyar were killed and 32 injured, including former union minister V C Shukla.