26/11: Rana’s confession strengthens India’s case, says Pillai

India has approached the United States seeking access to Tahawwur Hussain Rana, the Pakistani Canadian accused in the Mumbai terror attack case.

Last Updated: Apr 13, 2011, 21:18 PM IST

New Delhi: India has approached the United
States seeking access to Tahawwur Hussain Rana, the Pakistani
Canadian accused in the Mumbai terror attack case, and a reply
in this regard is expected next month.
Government sources said the request to question Rana, a
key accomplice of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley, by
Indian investigators has been sent to the authorities in the
US after gathering evidence about his involvement in the
planning of the 26/11 attacks.

"We are expecting a reply from the US by May-end on the
request which was sent under the Mutual legal Assistance
Treaty between the two countries," sources said.

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai said India`s
case against Rana has been strengthened after his claim before
a Chicago court that he provided "material support" to the
terrorists at the behest of the Pakistan government and its
spy agency ISI.

"The case has been strengthened....what we have been
saying, a belief that we already had. We are in the process of
charge-sheeting Headley. In due course Rana would also
follow," Pillai said on the sidelines of a function here.
Sources said after getting access to Rana, India may
pursue with US authorities for his extradition as he has not
entered into a plea bargain with the American authorities like
Headley.

Rana in his defence, which is to be produced before the
Chicago court, said his "alleged illegal acts of providing
material support to terrorists -- were done at the behest of
the Pakistani government and the ISI, not the Lashkar
terrorist organisation".

49-year old Rana is accused of helping David Headley in
setting up his office in Mumbai which the latter used as cover
for his trips to the city for identifying targets.

India last year got access to Headley, who is currently
in the US custody.

PTI