Petition against Saeed, NBW on Headley dropped
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Last Updated: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 22:23
New Delhi: NIA today filed a fresh plea in a court here for non-bailable warrants against Pakistan-based JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and five other terror suspects for plotting attacks in India, but withdrew a similar petition against David Headley and Tahawwur Rana, saying the US was providing access to them.

Citing reasons for withdrawing the application seeking NBWs against the US-based terror suspects, the National Investigation Agency said, "We want to withdraw the plea against Headley and Rana as they have been duly interrogated by us.

"Moreover, they are in custody of the US with whom India has an extradition treaty," the prosecutor for the agency said.

However, the agency filed a fresh application seeking issuance of NBWs against Saeed, LeT operations commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and four others, including two Pakistani Army officers, for plotting terror attacks in India.

In an apparent bid to maintain secrecy, the prosecutor parried a court question on specific roles played by the accused, saying, "We cannot discuss such issues in an open court. It is a sensitive case relating to national security. We are willing to provide a copy of the case diary to the court for perusal."

The case diary also contained the statements of Headley, recorded by the NIA at Illinois in the US, he said.

So far as Saeed and others were concerned, the NBWs were a "condition precedent" for issuance of Red Corner Notices (RCN) against them through the Interpol, he said.

The prosecutor cited various Supreme Court judgements including a verdict on underworld don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar before District and Sessions Judge S P Garg to buttress his arguments that NBWs could be issued against those accused who were living in a country with whom India has no extradition treaty.

"This case is not being filed for an academic purpose. The NIA is serious and wants RCN issued against them so that they could be arrested if they come out of Pakistan," he said.

The court took a copy of the case diary in its records to ascertain specific roles of the accused and fixed the matter for further proceedings on July 20.

Besides Headley and Rana, now in the custody of FBI in the US, the NIA has made Lakhvi, Saeed, Major Iqbal and Major Sameer Ali of Pakistani army, Sajid Mir and Abdul Rehman accused in an FIR lodged on November 11 last year.

They have been booked under various provisions of the IPC, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and SAARC Convention (Suppression of Terrorism) Act, dealing with waging war against the Government of India, conspiracy and procuring arms and ammunition.

The NIA, in the FIR, mentioned the inputs provided by the FBI saying a detailed probe was required to unravel the entire conspiracy hatched by Headley and others to carry out terror attacks in the country.

A team of the probe agency was recently accompanied by a magistrate to Illinois to record the testimony of Headley who had given his consent to an attorney in the USA for deposing before an Indian agency.

Headley and Rana, a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin, had come in contact with Lashker-e-Toiba and HuJI operatives in September 2006 for conspiring to carry out terror attacks in New Delhi and other places in India, NIA said.

Besides his various trips to India, Headley, in the guise of an immigration law consultant, had also come to Delhi from Abu Dhabi on February 7 last year and went back via Mumbai by an Ethihad flight after nearly ten days, NIA said.

The Pakistan-based handlers were in constant touch with Headley and Rana to launch terror attacks in India, it said adding Major Iqbal and Major Sameer Ali, who hailed from Lahore and Karachi respectively, belong to Pakistan Army.


First Published: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 22:23

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