NIA-Mumbai Crime Branch tiff over Headley chargesheet

Last Updated: Monday, December 26, 2011 - 14:24

New Delhi: Mumbai Police`s elite Crime
Branch`s probe into the role of Fahim Ansari and Sabbauddin
Ahmed in the conspiracy behind 26/11 finds no mention in the
exhaustive chargesheet filed by NIA regarding the role of
Pakistani-American LeT terrorist David Headley in the Mumbai
attack.

The 60-page chargesheet, filed by National Investigation
Agency(NIA) on Saturday before a special court in New Delhi,
details reconnaissance activities carried out by 50-year-old
Headley of the targets attacked by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)
terrorists on November 26, 2008 that left 166 people dead.

Mumbai Crime Branch had accused Ansari and Sabbauddin of
providing details of the targets attacked by the LeT during 60-hour gun battle and had to face embarrassment twice when the
trial court and the Bombay High Court acquitted the two saying
there was no evidence against the two.

Former Commissioner of Mumbai Police Hasan Gafoor and the
then in-charge of the Crime Branch, Rakesh Maria, who is at
present head of Anti-Terror Squad, had repeatedly claimed that
Ansari and Ahmed had carried out reconnaissance of various
targets attacked by Lashkar terrorists on November 26, 2008.

In its revision petition, the Crime Branch had again
claimed that Ansari and Ahmed had played a role in providing
details to the Pakistan-based terror outfit about the
targets attacked by terrorists on November 26.

The NIA has given details about how every target attacked
by LeT terrorists was scouted by Headley, who is at present in
a Chicago jail.

The investigation agency has gone into the role of
Headley and eight others including founder of Lashkar Hafiz
Saeed, mastermind of 26/11 Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and two
serving Pakistani Army officials.

But it has not mentioned a word about Ansari or Ahmed or
the claims of Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal D Nikam, who
said the 10 LeT terrorists entered the country`s financial
capital with the help of hand-written maps drawn by Ansari.

The statement of Headley, who was recruited by Lashkar,
to the US authorities and NIA before a magistrate, which forms
as one of the annexures of the chargesheet, talks about his
role in carrying out the survey of the locations attacked by
the terrorists on 26/11. This had left Mumbai Police red-faced
and punctured their theory of criminal conspiracy involving
only Ansari and Ahmed.

The claims by Nikam about terrorist entering into Mumbai
with the help of hand written map provided by Ansari was
rejected by the trial court, saying better maps were available
on Google and that the hand-written map, recovered from one of
the killed terrorists, was fresh and had no wrinkles on it.

The division bench of Bombay High Court comprising
justices Ranjana Desai and RV More while dismissing the plea
of state government earlier this year had said "we are of the
view that the view taken by learned Sessions Judge so far as
involvement of the duo in this case is concerned, cannot be
called unreasonable, palpably false, manifestly erroneous and
demonstratively unsustainable which merits our interference."

The High court concurred with the view taken by Sessions
Judge that the map recovered from killed terrorist pocket
should have some wrinkles on it and blood spots as the LeT
terrorist was badly injured in the gun-fight.

PTI



First Published: Monday, December 26, 2011 - 14:16

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