Petition against Saeed, NBW on Headley dropped

NIA filed a fresh plea in a court here for non-bailable warrants against Hafiz Saeed.

Updated: Jul 15, 2010, 22:23 PM IST

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

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

"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

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.