The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is expected to file a chargesheet against Mumbai terror attacks mastermind David Headley and co-accused Tahawwur Hussian Rana in a city court soon on the basis of documents given by the United States. NIA will write to the ministry of home affairs, seeking their permission. The grounds of the chargesheet will be decided after it has examined the fresh evidence given by the US.
The US has handed over to India voluminous documents, including the confessional statements of Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana. The documents include tapped conversation between Rana and Headley, phone records, personal diaries, intercepted email that have been sent by the US Department of Justice.
Sources said the NIA was examining the documents and finding grounds to file a chargesheet against Rana, who was running an immigration consultancy firm and let Headley use his business as a cover for two terror plots, including the 26/11 Mumbai attack.
When the chargesheet will be filed, the NIA is likely to press for the court’s permission for extradition of Rana as he would be required here during the trial. However, sources said, India has no plan to seek access of Rana in the US.
Last month, during the Indo-US homeland security dialogue, US deputy secretary for homeland security Jane Holl Lute had conveyed to Union home secretary R K Singh that the Washington would cooperate with India’s trial against Rana. The documents received under the mutual legal assistance treaty from the US also include Rana’s activities in India during his multiple visits.
The US government has submitted before a Chicago court, where Rana was tried, that he was running an immigration consultancy firm and let Headley use his business as a cover for two terror plots, including the Mumbai strikes on November 26, 2008. The US prosecutors said it has been proved beyond doubt that Rana was involved in these attacks.
“Rana provided material support to terrorists for attacks in India. There is no dispute that there was a conspiracy to bomb and kill in India. It is crystal clear that Headley along with Sajid Mir and Pasha (or Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, a retired major of the Pakistani Army) planned and executed the Mumbai terror attacks,” the US prosecutors had said.
Rana knew that Lashkar was a terrorist organisation and had agreed to provide material support for terror attacks in India. “The evidence in this case is overwhelming,” the US Attorney had said during the trial of Rana.
The US court, however, acquitted Rana of the charges of plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks, but held him guilty of supporting Pakistan-based terror group LeT and planning a terror strike in Denmark. TOI