26/11: Court hears arguments against Headley
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Last Updated: Saturday, January 21, 2012, 14:26
  
New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday heard arguments on taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed by NIA against Pakistani-American David Headley and eight others for planning and executing terror strikes in India, including the 26/11 Mumbai attack.

The arguments remained inconclusive and further arguments would now be heard on February 4.

"Arguments on the question of taking cognisance had been advanced at length by the NIA... Arguments remained inconclusive. Put up for February 4 for further hearing," Special NIA judge H S Sharma said.

The judge said he was giving the date so that he can peruse the documents provided by the prosecution (NIA) before hearing further arguments.

During the arguments, Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan said, "The target of HuJI, LeT and officials of Pakistani Army (who are accused in the case) were Indians and tourists. Their target was tourist places like Goa and Bombay where they had done recce several times."

He further said that Headley's role in the terror strikes has been detailed in the charge sheet.

The NIA had on December 24 last year filed charge sheet against 51-year-old Headley, his Pakistani-Canadian accomplice Tahawwur Rana and founder of Lashker-e-Taiba terror group Hafiz Saeed.

Besides them, two serving Pakistani Army officials -- Major Iqbal and Major Sameer Ali -- believed to be working for ISI, were also named in the charge sheet filed before the court.

Al-Qaeda operative Illyas Kashmiri, Sajid Malik, handler of Headley, and Abdul Rehman Hashmi, former Pakistani Army officer, were also named in the charge sheet filed against the nine for waging war against the country and other relevant sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The charge sheet was filed after two years of probe by the central agencies. NIA had initially registered a case against Headley and Rana but after a thorough probe, seven other names were included in the case.

The charge sheet gives details of the 293 days stay of Headley in India and his involvement in carrying out surveillance of places of iconic installations which includes his recce of Mumbai before the 26/11 terror strikes.

The voluminous charge sheet mentions the fake plea made by Rana to the Indian authorities about Headley being a representative of his Immigration Law Centre.

It refers to Rana's meeting with 40-year-old Pasha, a former Pakistani army officer, in Dubai and his sudden exit from India barely five days before the Mumbai terror strike.

Both Headley and Rana are at present in the custody of US authorities and NIA has only got a limited access to Headley, who had entered into plea bargain with US authorities to escape harsh sentence.

The charge sheet said that Headley attended several basic and specialised terrorist training programmes of LeT. The immigration business of Rana came in handy, as a front office was opened in India for launching Headley in this country.

Headley also collected information and videos of places including but not limited to different Chabad houses in India, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mantralaya and Air India building in Mumbai and National Defence College, it said.

He befriended several individuals, who had no knowledge about his activities, during his stay in Mumbai for carrying out reconnaissance of important places in India, it said.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, January 21, 2012, 10:00


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