Mumbai: The Shiv Sena late on Tuesday confirmed that one of its party workers was indeed approached by Mumbai attacks accused David Coleman Headley.
Testifying in a Chicago court during the trial of Tahawwur Rana, another accused in the 26/11 attacks, Headley had said that he was involved in a plot by his Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and ISI handlers to assassinate Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.
Headley yesterday told the court that he had scouted the headquarters of the Shiv Sena, which he described as a terrorist organisation, in Mumbai before the 26/11 attack.
The LeT operative had revealed that he had made an effort to penetrate into the Shiv Sena by communicating with Rajaram Rege, Shiv Sena`s public relations officer.
The Sena had yesterday initially denied it had any PRO. “There is no post like PRO in the Shiv Sena as told by Headley. But we are seeking information on Rajaram Rege and if we get any information we will give it to the intelligence agency or police,” party spokesperson Sanjay Raut said.
But later in the night, the Shiv Sena admitted the existence of a party worker by the name of Rajaram Rege.
Raut said there is indeed a party activist called Rajaram Rege, who is working in one of the party`s wings.
"But it is not as if he is a wrong kind of a person. We are not going to question him, that is the job of the authorities concerned," Raut said.
Rege, meanwhile speaking to a news channel, said he had informed the NIA about his meeting with Headley. He added that he wasn’t working with Shiv Sena when Headley came to meet him.
Party chief Bal Thakckeray meanwhile was dismissive of Headley`s testimony that a plot was hatched to kill him.
"We are not afraid of Headley. We have seen many such Headleys," Thackeray said in a statement.
Headley had said in his deposition as a prosecution witness in the 26/11 trial in the US court that he had visited Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar in central Mumbai, and met Rege, whom he identified as the party`s PRO.
A co-accused in the Mumbai terror attack along with his old friend Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian of Pakistani origin, Headley said he had conducted a recce of India`s atomic installation, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre near Mumbai, and also visited the Shiv Sena offices at Dadar.
Headley, who is behind bars and has admitted to being one of the planners of the Mumbai terror attack, created a sensation by naming Rajaram Rege before Judge Harry D Leinenweber conducting the trial in the Chicago court.