India rejects Google’s plans to collect images for its Street View service in the country after objections from security agencies, reports say.
In an exclusive, Times Now has claimed that the an affidavit describing Ishrat Jahan as a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative was signed by the then Home Minister P Chidambaram.
The recent revelations made by former home secretary G K Pillai, former undersecretary in the home ministry RVS Mani, and former joint director Rajendra Kumar on the deposition by LeT operative David Headley suggested that an affidavit was filed on the basis of inputs from Maharashtra and Gujarat Police besides the Intelligence Bureau where it was said that the 19-year-old girl from Mumbai outskirts but it was ignored in the second affidavit.
A second affidavit was filed which officials claimed to have been drafted by the then Home Minister P Chidambaram, said there was no conclusive evidence to prove that Ishrat was a terrorist.
Pillai had recently claimed that as Home Minister, Chidambaram had recalled the file a month after the original affidavit, which described Ishrat and her slain aides as LeT operatives, was filed in the court.
Subsequently, Chidambaram had said that Pillai is equally responsible for the change in the affidavit.
Pillai may now also be examined by a one-man inquiry panel probing the issue of missing files related to the case.
The panel will examine all officers – serving or retired – who have dealt with the Ishrat Jahan related files,” an official privy to the deliberations in the Home Ministry said.
Pillai had filed two contradictory affidavits in the Gujarat High Court in 2009 on the Ishrat Jahan case.
The inquiry, by Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry B K Prasad, was ordered by the Home Ministry after it was found that some papers related to the Ishrat Jahan case went missing.
Earlier in March, in a sharp attack on P Chidambaram, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the second affidavit filed in the Gujarat High Court was “fraudulent”.
Saying the encounter in which Jahan and her other alleged LeT operatives were killed in Gujarat was “honest”, he asked if the Congress believed it was fake why did it then allow those officers involved in the actual shootout to get bail on the 90th day by not filing chargesheets and make them a witness.
With inputs from PTI
Pakistani American terrorist David Coleman Headley on Saturday disclosed before an anti-terror court here that LeT chief and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed had told him prior to the Mumbai terror attacks that Shiv Sena chief late Bal Thackeray “needed to be taught a lesson”.After hearing this (that Thackeray needed to be taught a lesson), Headley had told Saeed that this would be done, he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To a question, he said he had not requested for any time “to accomplish this task”, but said “it would take six months”.On Friday, Headley had revealed that he had “arranged” a fund-raising programme for the Shiv Sena in the US and had planned to invite Thackeray to the event. The 55-year-old LeT operative, who has turned approver in the case, said that Sena man Rajaram Rege had told him that, “Thackeray was sick and so may be his son and other officials may attend the programme.”Earlier this week, Headley had told the court that terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) wanted to eliminate Thackeray but the person who was assigned the job to kill the Sena chief was arrested and he managed to give police the slip.”We wanted to target the chief of Shiv Sena… His name was Bal Thackeray. LeT wanted to kill him wherever a chance arose. I knew that Bal Thackeray was the head of Shiv Sena. I have no firsthand knowledge but I think an attempt was made by LeT to kill Bal Thackeray,” he had said.”I don’t know how this attempt was made. I think the person (who was sent to kill Thackeray) was arrested but he managed to escape from police custody. I don’t have firsthand knowledge about this though,” Headley had told Judge G A Sanap, who is hearing the 26/11 terror case against Abu Jundal in the sessions court.
Mumbai: Pakistani-American LeT terrorist-turned-approver David Coleman Headley said here on Friday that he nursed a hatred towards India and Indians since December 1971 when his school was bombed by Indian fighter planes during India-Pakistan war which saw the creation of Bangladesh.
“I have this hatred… towards India since 7 December, 1971… When Indian planes had bombed my school… The school was destroyed and many people who worked there had died,” Headley claimed on the third day of his ongoing cross-examination before Special Judge GA Sanap on Friday.
He was replying to the questions posed by lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan, the defence cousel for Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, one of the key plotters of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
Headley was referring to the bombing of his school during the India-Pakistan war which saw the dismemberment of East Pakistan that became Bangladesh.
The childhood incident when he was barely 10 years old left such an imprint on his tender mind that Headley decided to join the Lashkar-e-Taiba later to avenge the bombing of his school.
He admitted that it was one of the reasons why he joined the LeT years later.
In another disclosure, Headley, 56, said he made attempt to organise a fund-raising programme for the Shiv Sena party and even invite the party’s founder-patriarch, the late Bal Thackery to the US, but he had no plans to attack him there.
Incidentally, on February 12 he had revealed a plot to kill the late Bal Thackeray and on 24 March (Thursday), he spoke of an attack made on him (Thackeray) with the attacker caught but managed to escape from police custody.
Headley said that he was in touch with the then Shiv Sena Public Relations Officer Rajaram Rege whom he had earlier befriended in connection with the planned trip for the late Thackeray.
Though Headley never met the late Thackeray, he was open to inviting some other Sena leader after Rege informed that the senior Thackeray was old and unwell, he said.
Headley is being cross-examined by Khan via video-conferencing from an unknown location in the US where he is currently undergoing a 35-year jail sentence for the 26/11 and Denmark terror strikes.
Abdul Wahab Khan, the lawyer of Abu Jundal, on Thursday said the court has evidence which hints towards participation of David Coleman Headley’s wife in the infamous 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks but the Pakistan American terrorist is denying her involvement.”Headley’s wife was talking with him in code language, She said the ‘cartoon’ (terror attack) is doing well, it did well the whole day. Headley said that his wife Shazia congratulated him on the success of 26/11 in code language and said that you have graduated. In record we also have a mail where Shazia told Headley ‘you did a great job yaar’,” Khan told the media here. “Headley is not divulging about his wife’s role in 26/11 terror attacks and we doubt that there is lot which is untold. The court had decided to forgive Headley only if he shares all the information and unravels the mystery by giving names of all the people involved in the terror attack. But looking at today’s session we feel that Headley is hiding a lot of information and is not confessing the whole truth,” he added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Headley, who had been vehemently denying that he had not been paid by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, finally made a sensational revelation before a court today that the ISI had massively funded his entire operation.
ALSO READ ISI provided huge funds for David Headley’s 26/11 operation: Ujjwal NikamIn other revelations, Headley disclosed via video link from a US prison that he was planning another attack on India after 26/11 on the instructions of Al-Qaeda and not the LeT. He also informed that plans to kill Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray was also made but he remained unharmed.
1. Turkey says Brussels airport attacker Ibrahim El Bakraoui deported in 2015; Belgium ignored warningTurkey on Thursday said it had detained and then deported Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of the two suicide bombers at Brussels airport, and accused the Belgian authorities of failing to confirm his links to terror. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Hyderabad University Row: Student groups allege ‘brutal physical and sexual assault’ by policeStudent groups at the University of Hyderabad on Wednesday condemned ‘police brutality’ and ‘sexual assault’ on students protesting against VC P Appa Rao. Read more here3. 26/11 Mumbai attack case: David Headley says LeT made an attempt to kill Shiv Sena chief Bal ThackerayPakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley on Thursday said that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) had made an attempt to kill Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray. Read more here4. Congress’ tweet calls Savarkar ‘traitor’; says he begged for his releaseCongress on Wednesday utilised the death anniversary of Bhagat Singh to run down freedom fighter V D Savarkar by juxtaposing the famous revolutionary against the BJP-RSS ideologue. Read more here5. World T20, Ind vs Ban: Dhoni’s last over street smartness keeps India’s semifinal hopes aliveIn cricket, it is said it’s ain’t over till the last ball is bowled. And the phrase stayed true in the India-Bangladesh ICC World Twenty20 tie that ended in a thriller in the favour of hosts. Read more here6. Batman v Superman: Ben Affleck’s revamped Caped Crusader is old but more physicalSuperheroes are not the only ones seeking redemption in the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film. Read more here
Mumbai: Headley’s cross-examination by Abdul Wahab Khan, the lawyer of Abu Jundal, an alleged key plotter of the 2008 terror attack, began on Wednesday morning in the court of Mumbai sessions judge G A Sanap, via video link from the US. Here are a few extracts from the hearing.
On Tahawwur Rana
Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley on Wednesday said Tahawwur Rana, his associate and a Pakistani native who operated an immigration business in Chicago, was aware that he was an operative of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
When Khan asked him about Rana, Headley said, “Rana knew about my association with LeT. I informed him about the training imparted by me to LeT operatives. I disclosed to Rana that I was spying for LeT. This was four to five months before the 26/11 attacks.”
The 55-year-old terrorist, who has turned approver in the 26/11 case, further said Rana had objected to his association with LeT.
“Rana objected to my association with LeT. He did not want me to continue using his office in Mumbai. I conceded his objection and started taking steps to close down the office. This was in July 2008,” he said.
On wife Shazia
Headley refused to answer questions about his wife Shazia.
“Shazia is still my legally wedded wife. I do not want to disclose Shazia’s location at present. I do not want to answer any question about my wife Shazia,” he said.
He said his wife never visited India and that he had disclosed to her about his association with LeT.
“Shazia never visited India. Originally she’s from Pakistan. I had told Shazia about my association with LeT. I don’t remember when I disclosed this to her, at least not immediately.”
When Khan asked Headley what was Shazia’s reaction to this disclosure, he said, “Her reaction to this is between me
and her. It is our personal relation. I don’t want to disclose whether she objected or not or what she said. I am not going to share what happened between me and my wife.”
However, Headley said his wife knew about his plans to change his name.
“She knew that I was going to change my name from Dawood Gilani to David Coleman Headley,” he said.
When Khan continued questioning him on Shazia, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam took objection to it and said that under Section 122 of the Indian Evidence Act, the communication between a husband and wife is a privileged one and need not be disclosed.
Headley had earlier concluded his week-long deposition before the Mumbai sessions court through a video-link from the US on 13 February.
Headley, who is serving a 35-year jail term in the US, said in his earlier deposition how Pakistan’s intelligence
agency ISI provides “financial, military and moral support” to terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen, and how LeT planned and executed the 26/11 Mumbai attack.
He had also claimed that Ishrat Jahan, killed in an allegedly fake encounter in Gujarat, was an LeT operative.
On drug enforcement authority sponsoring his Pak trip and on receiving funding from LeT
Headley also said that the US had once financed his trip to Pakistan and also claimed that he had “donated” about Rs.70 lakh to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) till 2006, two years before the Mumbai attacks.
The 55-year-old told the court that after his arrest in 1998, “The Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) of the US financed my trip. I was in contact with DEA then, but it is not true that between 1988 and 1998 I was providing information or assisting DEA”.
Headley, who is serving a 35-year jail term in the US contradicted reports that he had received money from the LeT.
“I never received money from LeT…this is complete nonsense. I gave funds to LeT myself. I had donated more than
60 to 70 lakh Pakistani Rupees to LeT throughout the period I was associated with them. My last donation was in 2006″, Headley told the court.
He clarified that the money given was not for any specific operation of LeT, but was a general donation primarily for many things.
“These donations were from my business in New York and from the income that I earned by selling and purchasing some properties in Pakistan. I don’t remember if I informed US authorities about my donations to LeT,” he said.
On his criminal activities
Picking holes in the credibility of Headley’s evidence, 26/11 attack plotter Abu Jundal’s lawyer today argued that the terrorist, who faced conviction twice in the past before the Mumbai strikes, had indulged in criminal activities and violated his plea bargain agreements with the US government.
Headley was convicted in 1988 and 1998 by a court in the US for alleged drug smuggling, Jundal’s lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan said. However, on both the occasions, Headley had entered into a plea bargain with the American government and got off with a lighter sentence.
“One of the conditions of my plea agreement was that I should not take part in any criminal activity. I violated this condition by going to Pakistan and joining the LeT,” Headley told special judge G A Sanap, who is hearing the 26/11 terror case against Jundal in a sessions court here.
Headley told the court that after completing his four year sentence in 1988, he was involved in drug smuggling from 1992 to 1998 and had visited Pakistan during this period.
Headley was examined by the prosecution in February this year for five days and the court later adjourned the case
for his cross-examination, which started from Wednesday.
When Khan kept implying in his questions that he had received money from LeT, an irked Headley said, “I have repeated it several times. I did not receive any money from LeT…if you don’t understand this language I can say it in Urdu.”
Seeing Khan smile, Headley said, “Your client’s life is relying on this case. You should be serious about that…don’t joke.”
The lawyer of Abu Jundal, an alleged key plotter of 2008 Mumbai terror attack, today filed an application before the sessions court here seeking to make Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley’s wife Shazia and his friend Tahawwur Hussain Rana accused in the case.The court has granted pardon to Headley, who is currently in prison in the US, and allowed him to depose in 26/11 terror attack trial as an approver for the prosecution. “We have moved an application seeking to make both of them accused as Headley, in his deposition, had said that both knew about the attack before November 26, 2008. Headley also said he even got congratulatory message from Shazia (after the attack),” said Jundal’s lawyer Khan Abdul Wahab. The application is likely to be heard tomorrow. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Headley concluded his week-long deposition through video-link on February 13. He is likely to be cross-examined by Khan from March 22.Among other things, Headley told the court here that Pakistani intelligence agency ISI provides “financial, military and moral support” to terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen. He also described how LeT planned and executed the 26/11 attack in Mumbai.
Mumbai: The lawyer of Abu Jundal, an alleged key plotter of 2008 Mumbai terror attack, on Wednesday filed an application before the sessions court in Mumbai seeking to make Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley’s wife Shazia and his friend Tahawwur Hussain Rana accused in the case.
The court has granted pardon to Headley, who is currently in prison in the US, and allowed him to depose in 26/11 terror attack trial as an approver for the prosecution.
“We have moved an application seeking to make both of them accused as Headley, in his deposition, had said that both knew about the attack before November 26, 2008. Headley also said he even got congratulatory message from Shazia (after the attack),” said Jundal’s lawyer Khan Abdul Wahab.
The application is likely to be heard tomorrow.
Headley concluded his week-long deposition through video-link on February 13. He is likely to be cross-examined by Khan from March 22.
Among other things, Headley told the court here that Pakistani intelligence agency ISI provides “financial, military and moral support” to terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen. He also described how LeT planned and executed the 26/11 attack in Mumbai.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking to squash criminal prosecution, suspension and other actions taken against Gujarat Police personnel involved in Ishrat Jahan shootout case in view of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley’s statement.
Asking PIL petitioner M.L. Sharma that he should have approached the high court, the apex court bench headed by Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose said that the court could not pass any order under Article 32.
“What is the purpose of Article 32. You cannot file such a case under it. If you wish, you can go to the high court under Article 226 of the Constitution,” a bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy said minutes after lawyer M L Sharma started arguments in the case.
However, the bench clarified that it was not dismissing the petition on merits when Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought a clarification on this issue.
“Any person having locus can approach the appropriate authority,” the bench said paving way for the affected Gujarat policemen including then DIG D G Vanzara to move the court for their exoneration in the politically sensitive case.
The plea seeking to quash action taken against Gujarat cops refers to the statement of Headley, the Pakistani-American terrorist, recorded before a Mumbai court that Jahan was a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative.
Gujarat Police personnel, including ex-cop Vanzara, are facing trial in a Mumbai court for their alleged role in the encounter.
The plea which cited the recent statements recorded by Headley, who allegedly conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, said the facts are now undisputed that all four persons killed by Gujarat Police, including Ishrat Jahan, were terrorists.
“The judicial proceeding and statement of David Headley, who conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, stated via video conference and recorded in the special court at Mumbai that four persons, including Ishrat Jahan who were killed in June 2004 by Gujarat Police, were part of LeT terrorist organisation belonging to Pakistan and they were assigned to kill then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi,” it said.
The plea had sought a direction to close criminal proceedings and action taken in FIRs lodged by CBI against the Gujarat Police personnel and others, saying it was unconstitutional within the judicial facts and evidences of Headley.
It had also sought a direction from the court declaring that killing of a terrorist is not an offence under Indian law and proper compensation be paid to the state police personnel in the interest of justice.
It also wanted initiation of suo motu perjury/contempt proceedings against the then Home Minister and CBI Director for concealing true facts before the Supreme Court and the Gujarat High Court and for filing a false affidavit pertaining to facts about the case.
With inputs from agencies
The Supreme Court on Fridayrefused to entertain a PIL seeking quashing of criminal prosecution, suspension and other action taken against Gujarat cops in the 2004 alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan in view of recent testimony of jailed LeT operative David Headley.”What is the purpose of Article 32. You cannot file such a case under it. If you wish, you can go to the high court under Article 226 of the Constitution,” a bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy said minutes after lawyer M L Sharma started arguments in the case.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, the bench clarified that it was not dismissing the petition on merits when Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought a clarification on this issue.”Any person having locus can approach the appropriate authority,” the bench said paving way for the affected Gujarat policemen including then DIG D G Vanzara to move the court for their exoneration in the politically sensitive case.The plea seeking quashing of action taken against Gujarat cops refers to the statement of Headley,the Pakistani-American terrorist, recorded before a Mumbai court that Jahan was a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative.Gujarat Police personnel, including ex-cop Vanzara, are facing trial in a Mumbai court for their alleged role in the encounter.The plea, which cited the recent statements recorded by Headley, who allegedly conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, said the facts are now undisputed that all four persons killed by Gujarat Police, including Ishrat Jahan, were terrorists.”The judicial proceeding and statement of David Headley, who conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, stated via video conference and recorded in the special court at Mumbai that four persons, including Ishrat Jahan who were killed in June 2004 by Gujarat Police, were part of LeT terrorist organisation belonging to Pakistan and they were assigned to kill then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi,” it said.The plea had sought a direction to close criminalproceedings and action taken in FIRs lodged by CBI against the Gujarat Police personnel and others, saying it was unconstitutional within the judicial facts and evidences of Headley.It had also sought a direction from the court declaring that killing of a terrorist is not an offence under Indian law and proper compensation be paid to the state police personnel in the interest of justice.It also wanted initiation of suo motu perjury/contempt proceedings against the then Home Minister and CBI Director for concealing true facts before the Supreme Court and the Gujarat High Court and for filing a false affidavit pertaining to facts about the case.
Accusing erstwhile UPA government of hatching a “deep conspiracy” to frame Narendra Modi when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today alleged that the previous regime had done a ‘flip-flop’ on the links of Ishrat Jahan with terror outfit LeT.Without naming P Chidambaram, he charged the then Home Minister with giving “colour” to terrorism by coining the term ‘saffron terror’.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to a calling attention motion on “alleged alteration of affidavit relating to Ishrat Jahan case” in the Lok Sabha, the Home Minister said “unfortunately, I have to say this that there was a flip-flop by UPA government in the Ishrat Jahan case.”Amid protests and slogan shouting by Congress members who had trooped into the Well of the House, Singh charged Chidambaram of coining the term “saffron terror” and “Hindu terror”.”Colour, creed and religion should not be associated with terrorism. Terror has no colour… The seculars gave colour to terrorism. Selective secularism cannot be accepted by the country,” Singh said.He said the recent statement made by Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley before a Mumbai court only reaffirmed the first affidavit filed by the UPA government on August 6, 2009 before the Gujarat High Court that Ishrat had links with LeT.”It (Headley’s statement) was the second clear indication that she was a terrorist,” he said.The minister said the second affidavit filed by the government before the High Court on September 29, 2009 “weakened” the fact that she was an LeT operative.He said the effort seemed to be to “defame the then Gujarat Chief Minister (Narendra Modi), state government, some leaders and those associated with the case. There was a deep conspiracy to frame them,” he said.The Home Minister said a few key documents including two letters written by the then Home Secretary (G K Pillai) to then Attorney General late G E Vahanvati and the copy of the draft affidavit have so far been untracable.He said the missing documents include the copy of the affidavit vetted by the AG and the draft of the second affidavit vetted by the AG on which changes were made.”We have ordered an internal enquiry in the Home Ministry in this regard and necesary action will be taken accordingly,” he said. In his written response to the Calling Attention Motion, Singh said the notings on the concerned file do not provide any reason for filing of the second affidavit.”It has been mentioned in the affidavit that the further affidavit was being made in view of subsequent developments in relation to the issues connected with the petition and to clarify apprehensions expressed in regard to the (first) affidavit filed by Union of India as well as to refute attempts to misinterpret portions of the affidavit.” He said the second affidavit stated that all intelligence inputs “do not constitute conclusive proof” and it is for the state government and the state police to act on such inputs.”It was further submitted that the central government is in no way concerned with such action nor does it condone or endorse any unjustified or excessive action.”It was also mentioned that the main purpose of the first affidavit was to highlight the contradiction in the pleadings averred in the petition filed by Shamima Kausar (Ishrat’s mother) and the petition which had been filed by M R Gopinath Pillai (Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai’s father),” read the statement.Ishrat was killed in an alleged fake encounter in Gujarat in 2004.The first affidavit was filed on the basis of inputs from Maharashtra and Gujarat Police besides the Intelligence Bureau where it was said that the 19-year-old girl from Mumbai outskirts was a Lashkar-e-Taiba activist but it was ignored in the second affidavit, Home Ministry officials said.The second affidavit, claimed to have been drafted by Chidambaram, said there was no conclusive evidence to prove that Ishrat was a terrorist, officials said.Former Union Home Secretary G K Pillai had claimed that as Home Minister, Chidambaram had recalled the file a month after the original affidavit, which described Ishrat and her slain aides as LeT operatives, was filed in the court.Ishrat, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter with Gujarat Police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.The city crime branch had then said those killed in the encounters were LeT terrorists and had landed in Gujarat to kill then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The Supreme Court would hear on March 11 a plea seeking quashing of criminal prosecution, suspension and other actions taken against Gujarat cops in the 2004 alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan in view of recent testimony of jailed LeT operative David Headley. The matter, which was mentioned for urgent hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice U U Lalit on March 1, will now be heard on March 11, sources said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The plea, filed by advocate M L Sharma, refers to the statement recorded by Headley, the Pakistani-American terrorist, in a Mumbai court that Jahan was a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative.Gujarat Police personnel, including the then DIG D G Vanzara, are facing trial in a Mumbai court for their alleged role in the encounter.The plea, which cited the recent statements before a special court recorded by Headley, who allegedly conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, said the facts are now undisputed that all four persons killed by Gujarat Police, including Ishrat Jahan, were terrorists.”The judicial proceeding and statement of David Headley, who conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, stated via video conference and recorded in the special court at Mumbai that four persons, including Ishrat Jahan who were killed in June 2004 by Gujarat Police, were a part of LeT terrorist organisation belonging to Pakistan and they were assigned to kill then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi,” it said.The plea sought a direction to close criminal proceedings and action taken in FIRs lodged by CBI against the Gujarat Police personnel and others, saying it was unconstitutional within the judicial facts and evidences of Headley.It also sought a direction from the court declaring that killing of a terrorist is not an offence under Indian law and proper compensation be paid to the state police personnel in the interest of justice. It also wanted initiation of suo motu perjury/contempt proceedings against the then Home Minister and CBI Director for concealing true facts before the Supreme Court and the Gujarat High Court and for filing a false affidavit pertaining to facts about Ishrat Jahan case. Top official denies pressure from Chidabaram Earlier, a top police official, who was part of a court-appointed SIT to go into the killing of Ishrat Jahan, on Thursday maintained that it was a fake encounter and rejected allegations that pressure was brought on them by former Home Minister P Chidamabram in this regard. IPS officer and SIT member Satish Verma also denied an allegation by RVS Mani, who had filed affidavits in the Gujarat High Court in the case on behalf of the Union Home Ministry, that he had tortured him by burning him with cigarette butts. “National security cannot become a defence for the pre-medidated murder of a 19-year-old girl and be branded it as collateral damage,” he told India Today TV. He was replying to a query whether he stood by the probe conducted by the three-member SIT that the encounter was fake.”It is very unfortunate that national security was being used as a phrase to condone the extreme illegalities of the most serious crime in the book. It cannot happen. These raise concerns…,” said Verma, who is now Chief Vigilance Officer at Shillong-based NEEPCO. He also disputed the description of Ishrat as a LeT terrorist and a suicide bomber saying she was away from her home and family for only about 10 days after she came into contact with a Pakistani terrorist Javed Sheikh. “You would know how much time you take to train a LeT terrorist and a suicide bomber…this time (that she was away from home) was not enough,” he said.
In view of the statement made by 26/11 conspirator David Coleman Headley on Ishrat Jahan, the Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a plea seeking to quash the criminal case against the Gujarat policemen who were involved in the case.In his deposition last month, Headley had claimed that Mumbra resident Ishrat Jahan was a suicide bomber for Pakistan-based terror outfit Laskhar-e-Taiba.”The operation was about shooting the police at some naka. One woman LeT named Ishrat Jahan was involved. Muzammil Bhatt was the head of our group before Sajid Mir,” he told the court via video conferencing.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In June 2004, Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were shot dead by the Gujarat police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.The police had alleged that Ishrat and her associates were LeT operatives involved in a plot to assassinate the Narendra Modi who was the chief minister of Gujarat.After a long investigation, in 2009, an Ahmedabad Metropolitan court ruled that the encounter was staged.Earlier, Former Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said it was a matter of investigation whether Ishrat Jahan was a terrorist or not, but added that her name was mentioned in the martyr’s list of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).Speaking exclusively to ANI, Pillai said it was a matter of investigation whether Ishrat was involved or an unwitting player.”There was no direct evidence, except that LeT did put her name on the website and later on withdrew it, so I said maybe she was unwitting player.”However, taking responsibility for the second affidavit, former finance minister P. Chidambaram said that it was disappointing that Pillai is distancing himself from it.”Which part of the second affidavit is wrong? I accept the responsibility for this affidavit. It is disappointing that the Home Secretary, who is equally responsible, wants to distance himself from that,” Chidambaram told the media here.
Former Union Home Secretary G K Pillai on Thursday said the affidavit submitted to the Gujarat High Court in 2009 about LeT links of Ishrat Jahan and her accomplices, who were killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2004, was changed at the “political level”.”I would not know because it was not done at my level. I would say it was done at the political level,” he told an English news channel when asked whether the affidavit was changed at the political level.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The then UPA government had submitted two affidavits – one that the four, who were killed in an alleged fake encounter, were terrorists and the second saying there was no conclusive evidence – within two months in 2009. Pillai said Jahan could be an unwitting player in the hands of Pakistan-based terror group LeT and favoured a probe into the statement of David Headley on her terror links.The former Home Secretary said there was no doubt that those killed in the alleged fake encounter in Gujarat had links with Lashkar-e-Taiba.”They were LeT activists. She (Ishrat) knew that something was wrong. Otherwise an unmarried young Muslim woman would not have gone with some other men,” he told reporters.Commenting on whether it was a fake encounter, Pillai said the CBI had already investigated that issue and filed a charge sheet.”The real issue is whether it was a real encounter or fake. The CBI had probed that,” he said.The former bureaucrat said LeT did put her name on their website as a martyr, which was later withdrawn.”There was no direct evidence, except that LeT put her name on the website. So, I would say may be she was an unwitting player.”Complimenting the Intelligence Bureau, Pillai said it was a highly successful operation and the IB knew well before that the LeT people were coming.Asked about Headley’s statement before a Mumbai court that the 19-year-old Mumbra girl was a LeT member, he said it was a matter of investigation. “I think there should be further investigation into Headley’s statement.”The CBI, which took over the probe from the Gujarat High Court appointed Special Investigation Team, had filed a charge sheet in August 2013 saying the encounter was fake and executed in joint operation by the city crime branch and Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau.The CBI had named in its charge sheet former Special Director in Intelligence Bureau Rajinder Kumar and three other IB officials with murder and criminal conspiracy in the Ishrat encounter case. However, the Home Ministry had denied sanction to prosecute the IB officials.Ishrat, Javed Shaikh, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter with Gujarat Police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. The city crime branch had then said that they were LeT terrorists and had landed in Gujarat to kill the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Key 26/11 plotter Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal’s lawyer on Monday informed a court that he wanted to cross-examine Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley for four days.Also, Judge G A Sanap directed Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam to contact US authorities, check their availability for Headley’s second round of deposition and inform the court by February 25.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Once the availability is checked, the court will fix dates for Headley’s deposition.Meanwhile, Jundal’s lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan also moved applications objecting to Headley being made an approver in the 2008 terror attacks case besides making pleas seeking copies of certain documents and CDs.Earlier on February 13, the day on which Headley’s week-long deposition ended, the court had adjourned the case for cross-examination by Jundal’s lawyer for a future date.Headley, who is serving a 35-year jail term in the US in connection with the terror attacks case, had made some damning disclosures about LeT and Al-Qaeda’s planned to target India, during his testimony which began on February 8.He spilled beans on how Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI provides “financial, military and moral support” to terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen and how LeT had planned and executed the 26/11 attacks and the role played by ISI officials, involving him too.He also revealed that LeT had planned an attack at a conference of Indian defence scientists at Taj Mahal Hotel a year before the 26/11 strikes and had even prepared its dummy.Deposing via a video-link from the US, the 55-year-old terrorist had the court that –Ishrat Jahan–who was killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2004 in Gujarat–was an operative of LeT.Headley had also revealed that Al-Qaeda was in touch with him to attack Delhi’s National Defence College and unravelled the plot by LeT and ISI to target Mumbai airport, BARC and the Naval air station here.He also visited the Indian Army’s Southern Command headquarters at Pune in 2009 on the instructions of ISI’s Major Iqbal, who wanted him to recruit some military personnel to get “classified” information, the court was told.
Faiza Outalha, the divorced wife of American-born Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist David Headley, has replied to all questions of National Investigation Agency (NIA) relating to her knowledge of the conspiracy behind 26/11 Mumbai attacks.Besides Outalha, the probe agency also recorded the statement of a New York-based cousin of Headley through a questionnaire sent through the US Department of Justice, official sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Headley, who is at present undergoing a prison term of 35 years in a Chicago jail for conspiring in terror attacks in Mumbai and Denmark, had started a video parlour in New York in 1997.The legal process of quizzing Outalha concluded only after the NIA sent a fresh request in French to Moroccan authorities for recording her statement pertaining to her knowledge of her estranged husband’s association with LeT terror group. French is generally used by the Moroccan government for international diplomatic communications.The Moroccan government had earlier sent Outalha’s reply in response to a Letters Rogatory (LR) sent by the NIA in 2012 but it did not cover many of the questions asked by terror probe agency. The NIA had registered a case in 2009 to probe the activities of Headley in India.In the absence of any Mutual Assistance Legal Treaty between India and Morocco, the LR had been issued on the basis of “Assurance of Reciprocity”, thereby promising the African country of all assistance in any legal cases in future.Outalha had visited India twice and was used by Headley, a US national whose father was a Pakistani and mother a white American, while carrying out a reconnaissance mission at Hotel Taj Mahal in Mumbai.NIA, which was handed over the task to probe the activities of Headley, has already filed charge sheet against Headley, his Canadian-Pakistani accomplice Tahawuur Rana, LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, the outfits operations chief Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and five others including two army majors believed to be working for Pakistan’s ISI.The NIA, however, refused to share information tendered by Outalha. Earlier, Headley’s another wife Shazia and business associate Raymond Sanders had turned down a similar request of NIA to answer questions related to his association with the terror group, citing a US privacy law. During her stay in Pakistan, Outalha had met Hafiz Saeed and complained to him against Headley that he used to misbehave with him and also misappropriated her money. She had also gone to the US embassy in Islamabad and informed the authorities there about Headley’s involvement with terror groups like LeT and Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami, the sources said.Outalha, who married Headley in February 2007 and divorced him a year later, has been able to give security agencies an insight into the personal life of Pakistani-American terrorist, besides his connections in Mumbai.After the divorce the two had patched up and she had flown to Mumbai from Karachi. She came to India for a second time, entering the country through the Wagah border. During her first visit in 2007 she stayed with Headley at Taj Mahal Hotel and later in Oberoi-Trident, both targets of the 26/11 attack.On her second visit in May 2008, she entered via Wagah and went straight to Manali for a holiday. She later toured some areas of Shimla, including nearby Kufri, a popular tourist destination.During his recent deposition before a Mumbai court via video link, Headley had said Outalha had lodged a case against him with the Race Course police station in Lahore. He said the complaints were mainly about his being abusive and not returning money he had borrowed from her.However, In January 2008, she had complained to the US Embassy in Islamabad that Headley was involved in terrorist activities and was also closely associated with Lashkar.Headley told the Mumbai court that Lashkar operative Abdul Rehman Pasha, one of the wanted accused, had advised him to keep her busy for safety reasons. “Perhaps Pasha had apprehensions that she might disclose the conspiracy plan,” Headley said.Besides her, the first cousin of Headley had also recorded his statement to NIA about his mental state while he was working with him in his video parlour at New York. He said that Headley had become a devout Muslim and did not like working at the video parlour.
The Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency probe against the alleged perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, was superficial, accused-turned-approver David Headley told a session’s court here on Saturday.Headley, who is deposing via video conference from the United States (US), referred to the email exchanges between him and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives, Major Abdu Rehman Pasha, Sajid Mir and Major Iqbal in this context.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Headley said that in response to an email asking for the situation in Pakistan and whether Saeed and Rehman would be arrested, Pasha had replied: “All happening here, but all your friends are doing good.” This, Headley said, conveyed that the FIA probe was superficial and that there was nothing for him to worry.In another email, Headley wrote to Sajid Mir: “Old uncle seems to have got H1 virus and doctor and hospital might want to give him a check-up”. The old uncle referred to was Saeed and Headley wanted to know whether he would be imprisoned. Mir replied: “My old uncle is free and moving back and forth like a tornado.” Headley said that he understood this as nothing will happen to Saeed.Following the US pressure, the FIA had interrogated several LeT members including Saeed and Lakhvi. Saeed was even put under house arrest for some time while Lakhvi and others are facing trial. India had passed on to Pakistan evidence on the attackers, the role LeT played and proof of conspiracy being hatched in Pakistan soil. However, the trial is yet to conclude.The exchange of emails between LeT operatives and Headley took place after the 2008 attack, and before his arrest in October 2009. He was in Chicago then. Headley also told the court that he had informed his mentors about the friends he had made in India, including Rahul Bhatt, son of director Mahesh Bhatt.Headley deposed that until his arrest in the US, he had visited Pakistan several times, but since his name was revealed by Lakhvi to the FIA he was not arrested or interrogated by them. After he returned to the US to plan missions in other parts of the world, Headley said he sought for details about the Mickey Mouse project, which was to be an attack on a newspaper in Denmark.The prosecution completed examining Headley on Saturday and the defense sought time to cross-examine him, which the court granted and posted for February 22.Cross-examining in Urdu: Plea turned downAdvocate Wahab Khan, defending accused Sayyed Zaibuddin – alleged to have been guiding the 10 attackers over phone from his control room in Karachi – moved a plea to cross-examine Headley in Urdu or Hindi. The court, however, turned down the plea.Court clarifies on Wahab Khan’s allegationAfter Wahab Khan alleged that Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Atul Kulkarni met judge GA Sanap during a court break, the court clarified that Kulkarni had visited a room attached to the judge’s chamber to collect the evidence copies. Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam claimed the attempt was to malign the image of the court.
1. JNU Row: ABVP members greet Rahul Gandhi with black flags and ‘go back’ slogansABVP members at JNU didn’t take too kindly to Rahul Gandhi’s visit as they waved black flags at the Congress VP. They also shouted: “Rahul Gandhi go back.” Earlier, Rahul Gandhi added his voice to the debate saying that while ‘anti-India sentiment is unacceptable, debate is part of a democracy. Read more here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Make in India Week: PM Modi lists out achievements, says FDI inflow up by 48% under his govtPrime Minister Narendra Modi has kickstarted ‘Make in India Week’ in Mumbai on Saturday at MMRDA grounds in Bandra-Kurla complex, a flagship event designed to impart greater momentum to the initiative to boost the manufacturing sector in the country. While addressing the audience he said that 65% of Indian population is under age of 35 and they are the greatest strength of the country. Read more here.3. India summons US Ambassador, conveys displeasure over move to sell F16 jets to PakistanReacting strongly, India on Saturday summoned US Ambassador Richard Verma to convey its “displeasure and disappointment” over Obama administration’s decision to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar summoned Verma to the South Block and during the 45-minute meeting told him about India’s concerns over US military aid to Pakistan which New Delhi believes goes into anti-India activities. Read more here.4. Arun Jaitley hits out at Manmohan Singh; says NDA clearing up ‘accumulated challenges’ of UPA governmentTearing into former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s criticism of Modi government, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the transition from UPA to NDA government has been from “policy paralysis” to a global “bright-spot” while Congress’ stand on the crucial GST Bill has been motivated by “real politics”. Read more here.5. David Headley revealations: Pakistan should be declared ‘terrorist state’, says BJPAsserting the testimonies of terrorist David Headley before a Mumbai court proved that “there were no non-state actors in Pakistan, only cross-border terror funded by intelligence agency ISI”, BJP on Saturday demanded India initiate a “diplomatic exercise” to have that country declared a “terrorist state”. Read more here.
LeT and Al-Qaeda were convinced that 26/11 attack masterminds Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman would face only “superficial” action from the Pakistani authorities and within months plans were afoot for another terror strike in India, Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley said. Headley, who is serving a 35-year jail term in the US in connection with the 26/11 case, said this before a special court here via video link from the US during his deposition which concluded. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 55-year-old LeT operative told the Special Judge G A Sanap that after the attacks in Mumbai he was concerned about the safety of Saeed and Lakhvi and hence was in constant touch with LeT operative Sajid Mir, who was his handler, and Al-Qaeda member Abdul Rehman Pasha (former LeT cadre). “FIA (Federal Investigating Agency of Pakistan) was conducting investigations, interrogating people and pursuing people from LeT. Hence I asked Mir about ‘old uncle’ (Saeed) and ‘young uncle'(Lakhvi). Mir, in his reply, said that young uncle is fine and flying high. I think by this Mir meant that Lakhvi’s morale was high even though he was in prison at that time,” Headley said. Mir also said that “old uncle is fit and healthy like anything. Don’t put ears to rumours, he is moving back and forth like a tornado for his business and he (Mir) gave solace,” the LeT approver said.Responding to one of his mails, Pasha had written, “don’t worry everything here is normal. By this Pasha meant that I need not worry (about Saeed and Lakhvi) as the action against them and other LeT members are superficial,” said Headley.Giving further details about anti-India activities, Headley said eight months after the Mumbai strike, Mir had sent an e-mail to him saying that another location needs to be scouted in India for future attacks.”Mir in his mail has said an ‘investment plan’ needs to be made (meaning another location for attack). I told Mir that this time the attack should not be in ‘Rahul (Bhatt’s) City. I referred to Mumbai as Rahul City,” he said while informing the court that all the emails had coded language.Headley, who had scouted the November 2008 targets in Mumbai, said he had visited Pushkar, Goa and Pune in March 2009 and recced the cities as sought by Ilyas Kashmiri of Al-Qaeda.He also visited the Indian Army’s Southern Command headquarters at Pune in 2009 on the instructions of ISI’s Major Iqbal, who wanted him to recruit some military personnel to get “classified” information, Headley revealed.After the deposition which began on Monday, the court adjourned the case for cross-examination by accused and key 26/11 plotter Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal’s lawyer for a future dateShiv Sena infiltration tactics? Headley said Mir and Major Iqbal had encouraged him to develop close relations with Raja Ram Rege (a former member of Shiv Sena) and they would decide in the future if he (Rege) would be of any use to them.”On May 19, 2008 Rege has sent me an e-mail regarding certain investment I forwarded it to Mir, Iqbal and Rana and sought their advice. While Rana was ready to make the investments, Iqbal was not ready for any terror strike and only wanted information about military while Pasha, Mir and me wanted (a terror) attack,” he told the court.He also claimed that he had suggested to Rege to call late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and his son Uddhav to US so that they could ‘take care’ of them. Major Iqbal, Headley said, had raised some questions about the use of Rege. “Iqbal wanted to know if Rege could provide information on Indian military and paramilitary force. Iqbal asked me to keep Rege engaged in seminars and conferences in US,” Headley said.When the court played the audio transcripts of the conversation between the LeT handlers operating from a control room in Karachi and the attackers, Headley identified the voices of Abu Kahfa, Mir and Abu Al-Kama (LeT operative).”I cannot understand or identify any other voice,” he added. Headley told the court that when he asked Mir ‘are most of the problems solved for uncle and his friends’ he was referring to leadership of LeT that is Saeed and Lakhvi. He said that in another e-mail to Mir referring to Saeed he wrote ‘old uncle got H1 Virus too? Do the docs in hospital wants to give him checkup’. By this I meant if Hafiz Saheb was under investigation and he would be arrested,” he said.He also told the court that once Pasha told him that ‘Chacha revealed some facts about Ismael under pressure’. “Pasha referred to Lakhvi as Chacha while Ismael was me,” he said. He also told the court that he (Headley) was never arrested or called for interrogation by FIA despite several visits to Pakistan after 26/11 attacks, which left 166 dead and 309 injured. “Investigating agencies in Pakistan had never arrested me at any point of time neither FIA ever called me for interrogation during my stay in Pakistan. Mir or Major Iqbal were also never arrested by FIA,” Headley told the court.He said though Pasha was not arrested in the 26/11 attacks case in July-August 2009, he was arrested in connection with another case. Headley told the court that after the November 2008 attacks, he apprehended his arrest or killing in India which he was going to visit in March and hence had made a will which he sent to his business partner Tawahur Rana.”In March 2009, I sent a mail to Rana and enclosed my will, I sent it as I knew that I was going back to India and in the event that I would be arrested or killed. I wanted him to take care of certain personal/family matters as I thought it was a responsible thing to do,” the LeT operative said.After Nikam concluded his examination, Jundal’s lawyer sought four weeks’ time for cross-examining Headley. While Nikam objected to this, assistant attorney in US Sarah told the court that they would not be available in the near future and a fresh request would have to be made to fix a date for cross-examination. The court asked Jundal’s lawyer to inform Nikam by February 22 the exact time and number of days he would require to cross examine Headley after which the prosecutor would initiate further process.Here are the revelations made by Headley so far in the deposition that is underway:1.I interacted with Rajaram Rege via email when I was in Pakistan and the US.2.I sent this conversation to Dr. Rana for him to see how we can use Rajaram Rege.3.In May 2008, I sent a mail to Major Iqbal and also gave him brief information about Rajaram Rege to him.4.I also had a telephonic conversation with Major Iqbal about Rajaram Rege.5.On May 20 2008, I received a mail from Major Iqbal, he raised some questions which ns included “whether developing relations with Rajaram Rege will be useful to get info of military and forces activities of India?”6.Major Iqbal also asked me to keep Rajaram Rege engaged in seminars and conferences in the U.S. 7.On 20th May 2008, I sent a mail enclosing the mail of Rajaram Rege dated 19 May to Sajid Mir (LeT).8.I wrote to Sajid Mir “Jaldi reply karo, Rege ka message aaya tha, Rah-e-Amal (Line of action) decide karo.9.On 22 May 2008, I sent a mail to Abdur Rehman Pasha regarding Rajaram Rege.10.On 25th May 2008, I received a mail from Sajid Mir (LeT).The mail also mentioned the name “Bala and son”.11.When asked by Special PP Ujjawal Nikam about what he meant by “Bala and son”, Headley replied ” Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and son Uddhav”.12.On July 10,2009 when I was in Chicago,Sajid Mir sent me mail that he has some investment plan(another location for attack in India).13.Sajid Mir also mentioned that “this is not in your friend Rahul’s (Rahul Bhatt) city (Mumbai) but some other part?. 14.Headley admits before court that after 26/11 attack, Federal Investigation Agency of Pakistan never arrested Sajid Mir, Major Iqbal and him.15.Headley admits before Court that nobody made an enquiry about him till he was arrested by FBI in Chicago on October 3, 2009.16.Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhavi’s son was killed while fighting against Indian troops in Indian occupied Kashmir.WIth inputs from agencies
Asserting the testimonies of terrorist David Headley before a Mumbai court proved that “there were no non-state actors in Pakistan, only cross-border terror funded by intelligence agency ISI”, BJP on Saturday demanded India initiate a “diplomatic exercise” to have that country declared a “terrorist state”.”The statements of Headley, who is serving a prison sentence in an American jail, before a Mumbai court through video-conferencing call the bluff of Pakistan which has for long been trying to shirk its responsibility by misleading all with the theory of non-state actors acting on its soil,” BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh told reporters here. “Headley’s statements have proved what was always suspected – that there are no non-state actors in Pakistan, but only cross-border terror funded by ISI. India must now seize this opportunity to isolate Pakistan globally by initiating a diplomatic exercise aimed at getting Pakistan formally declared as a terrorist state,” Singh said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Underscoring the jailed Pakistani-American terrorist’s statements before the court about alleged LeT operative Ishrat Jahan, who was gunned down in a police encounter in Gujarat in 2004, the BJP leader also lashed out at the opposition parties for having “raked up the issue repeatedly for vote bank politics” and demanded that their leaders “apologise” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah. “Most opposition parties have engaged in this game at some point of time. Congress president used the encounter case to vilify Modi while he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.Sharad Pawar accused him and Shah, who was then the state’s Home Minister, of being responsible for the killing of an innocent Muslim girl. “(Bihar Chief Minister) Nitish Kumar stated that Ishrat was a ‘beti’ (daughter) of Bihar. (AIMIM leader Asaduddin) Owaisi proudly described the LeT operative was her sister. Now they all must apologise to Modi, Shah and the entire nation,” Singh said.
The al-Qaeda had planned a massive terror attack in India after 26/11, with the National Defence College (NDC), New Delhi, as a prime target, David Headley, the accused-turned-approver in the Mumbai attacks told a sessions court here.Headley said he had said switched sides from Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to al-Qaeda after the Mumbai attacks and returned to India in March 2009 to recee three Chabbhad houses in Pushkar, Goa, Pune and the NDC.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This is the first time Headley is revealing the sinister plans of the al-Qaeda. Headley was giving his deposition from the US through videoconference.He said that one of his handlers, Mohammed Pasha, told him that if the NDC attack was successful, they would have killed more brigadiers and colonels than in any war with Pakistan.Headley landed in New Delhi from Pakistan on March 7, 2009 and stayed in India till March 17, before returning to Pakistan. “The primary target was the Defence College. It was a high-value target.””Ilyas Kashmiri, leader of the al-Qaeda wing, brigade 313, gave me money for air tickets and other expenses and sent me to India, for doing a recee of the Chabad Houses and the NDC,” he said.He said that his second visit to India was not known to the LeT. “If the LeT would have known about my trip to India, they would not have allowed me to come, apprehending my arrest,” he said.However, in 2007, the LeT, too, had plotted an attack on the NDC, he said.In 2007, while waiting to board a flight to Pakistan, since he had two hours’ spare time, he visited the NDC, Headley said. No video recording was taken at that time. He said that in his 10-day visit to India two years later, he visited the Chabad Houses only once.On Thursday, Headley had told the court that he did the minute planning of the Mumbai terror attacks and when he presented it to Kashmiri, Kashmiri said, ‘shabash’. He also told the court that Kashmiri ran the 313 brigade, a suicide bombing squad and they had met in Waziristan.Headley has been deposing in the Mumbai attack case, against the remaining lone accused, Sayed Zabiuddin, aka Abu Jundal, the Indian handler who was believed to be present in the LeT control room in Karachi.Headley’s deposition will continue on Saturday.
Mumbai: Pakistani-American terrorist-turned-approver David Coleman Headley on Friday said the global terror network Al Qaeda wanted to attack India’s National Defence College in New Delhi as he also revealed a medley of Lashkar-e-Taiba plans to strike terror in the country.
Headley, who has been testifying through video-conferencing since Monday before a special court in Mumbai for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, claimed that Al Qaeda considered the defence college as “a good, high-value target with many senior military officers”.
He said he visited the college campus casually for a survey in 2007 at the instance of Al Qaeda leader Ilyas Kashmiri.
In his ongoing deposition before Special TADA Judge G.A. Sanap, Headley revealed how the Lashkar nefariously planned to eliminate Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray.
Headley, 56, spoke of developing close links with Rajaram Rege, the former PRO of present Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, by luring him with a business offer to access Shiv Sena Bhavan which was also on the target list of LeT.
“I took videos of the Shiv Sena Bhavan from outside and inside… I thought LeT would be interested in attacking it or even carry assassination of its (then) head (Bal Thackeray),” Headley said.
He said he provided two-three videos to his Pakistani handlers Sajid Mir and Major Iqbal.
Rege admitted that he knew Headley but said he never took him to the Shiv Sena Bhavan.
Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the Thackerays and the party have always been targeted by international terror groups “since we are the only ones who speak out against Pakistan”.
The terrorist-turned-approver also talked about the Lashkar plans to hit Mumbai’s famed Siddhi Vinayak Temple and attempts to recruit staffers from the sensitive Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) to tap them for “classified information”.
“The ISI wanted to recruit BARC staffers for future… to get classified information from them,” Headley said.
The Lashkar operative, jailed in the US for his terror activities, said that he came in touch with actor Rahul Bhatt, son of veteran film-maker Mahesh Bhatt, through the in-charge of the upmarket Moksha Gym. Headley was a member of the gym from October 2006.
He said he again surveyed the NDC, Chabad Houses in international tourist destinations like Goa, Pune and Pushkar after the Mumbai attack on the instructions of Kashmiri.
He said he handed over videos of the famed Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Dadar and the Naval Air Station to his main contacts Mir and Iqbal.
Outside the temple, he said, he bought a bunch of around 15 red and yellow coloured sacred threads and sent them to Mir so the terrorists could tie them around their wrists and pass off as Hindus and avoid detection.
Headley claimed to have discussed the temple and other terror plans with his LeT handlers and the ISI discouraged them from targeting the temple, Indian Navy’s air force station, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and Gateway of India in Mumbai as they were very heavily guarded sites when he surveyed them.
On his spying activities, Headley said he followed the progress of Indian Army and on one trip to Mumbai, he bought a book “Indian Army-Vision 2020” from Nalanda Books & Record Shop in Hotel Taj Mahal Palace.
He had purchased four other books – “Royal Rajasthan”, “India’s Jewish Heritage”, “The Grand Trunk Road” and “Polo In India” – but the army book was of great interest to him, he said.
“The other four books were mostly pictorial and there was nothing sinister about them.”
At this, Judge Sanap enquired whether there was anything “sinister” (motives) about the book on Indian Army, Headley replied: “Yes… My Lord!”
At one point in the deposition, Nikam suddenly shot a question about a woman named Kainaz.
“She was a friend from Mumbai,” Headley replied.
“Friend or girlfriend,” Nikam countered.
“Not a girlfriend, just a friend,” a visibly irritated Headley replied.
Later, identifying a picture of the captured and hanged terrorist Ajmal Kasab, Headley said the LeT was “saddened” by his arrest during the November 26, 2008, Mumbai attack.
The political slugfest over David Headley’s deposition that Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter in Gujarat, was an LeT terrorist, escalated on Friday with Congress asking BJP since when it has started believing in terrorists.The BJP on its part accused Congress of “whitewashing” facts due to its “congenital dislike” for Narendra Modi because it foresaw him as a “political threat”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Trashing demands of BJP that the Congress leadership should apologise in the matter, party leader Kapil Sibal said that the implicit faith in the statements of the Pakistani-American terrorist was “yet another example of opportunism of BJP.” Sibal said it was “very surprising” as also a “matter of some concern” that suddenly BJP and its leaders have got implicit faith in terrorists and what they say.”All over the world, Headley is a known terrorist, not to be believed. Suddenly BJP finds truth in what he says”, Sibal said, taking a jibe at the ruling party remarking that it would now also believe in what terrorists Masood Azhar and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi are saying.”Since when has BJP started believing terrorists?” Headley yesterday said that Ishrat Jahan–who was killed in 2004–was actually an Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT) operative.Seeking an apology from Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, then Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and other party leaders lined up to “weave a fictional tale” to target Modi, then Gujarat Chief Minister, the BJP also virtually defended the police personnel arrested for killing Ishrat, saying the then UPA government made sure they were put behind bars.”A battery of Congress leaders were lined up who went on giving statements there are evidences (against BJP leaders), there are conversations happening, there are people who said the man with white beard and black beard. It was done because Congress has a congenital dislike for Modi. He much to their dislike was the state’s chief minister. Who much to their dislike ran the state so successfully that they foresaw a potential political threat to themselves and so they targeted him… They wove theories like white beard, black beard,” BJP leader and Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at a party briefing.”To what extent the dislike of Congress for individuals could guide its policy and governance and expose the national security. It went to the court with a fictional tale. It almost hounded intelligence and police officials,” Sitharaman said, attacking Congress.
In more chilling testimony, Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley on Friday said al-Qaeda was in touch with him to attack Delhi’s National Defence College and unravelled the plot by LeT and ISI to target Mumbai airport, BARC and the Naval air station in Mumbai.Headley also told Special Judge G A Sanap via video-link from the US that he attempted to develop close relations with a Shiv Sena member as he thought Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT), a Pakistan-based terror outfit, would be interested in future to either attack the Shiv Sena Bhawan here or assassinate its head (late Bal Thackeray).<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Continuing his deposition for the fourth day, Headley claimed he discouraged the LeT about Naval air station and Siddhivinayak temple as targets for the attack as they were heavily guarded. Headley told the court in Mumbai that his handlers in Pakistan spy agency ISI and LeT wanted to target Mumbai airport and Naval air station during the terror attack in November 2008.”Major Iqbal expressed disapproval of certain areas I had recceed as targets. I felt that Major Iqbal was unhappy because Mumbai airport was not selected and included as one of the targets for the 26/11 attack,” he said.Headley testified in detail on how al-Qaeda was also interested in carrying out attacks in India after 26/11 strike.”After the 26/11 terror attack I met Ilyas Kashmiri (of al-Qaeda) in February 2009 and he asked me to visit India again as they were also interested in carrying out terrorist activities in India. He mentioned few places like the NDC (National Defence College) which was their primary target,” he said. He also said NDC was a high-value target as it housed senior military officers, from Brigadier to General rank.”Abdul Rehman Pasha (Al-Qaeda member) said that if this attack is successful then we would be able to kill more Brigadiers and Generals than any killed in the wars between India and Pakistan in the past,” said the 55-year-old, who recently turned approver in the 26/11 terror attacks case.He told the court that as per Kashmiri’s orders, he also visited the Chabad houses located in Pushkar, Goa and Pune as they were secondary targets of the terror outfit. He said he had videographed BARC at Trombay in Mumbai in July 2008 and that LeT had asked him to recruit some employee of BARC who would work for ISI.”I also visited and videographed BARC. Major Iqbal told me that in some future date I should recruit some employee of BARC who would give us classified information and would be ready to work for the ISI,” he said, adding that he had handed over the video to Sajid Mir and Major Iqbal. Headley also testified on his interaction with a Shiv Sena member.”I met Rajaram Rege (PRO of Uddhav Thackeray) inside Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar. I was interested in accessing the building at that time and I attempted to develop closer relations with Rege as I thought the LeT would be interested in future to attack the Sena Bhavan or assassinate its head,” Headley told the court.Headley also identified the recently executed lone 26/11 convict, Ajmal Kasab, when he was shown a photograph of him.”This is Ajmal Kasab Rehmatullah Aliah,” Headley told the court.When he was again asked to spell out the full name of Kasab, he said, “His name is only Ajmal Kasab but Rehmatullah Aliah means god bless him or god forgive him,” and added that after Kasab was captured, Sajid Mir and everybody in LeT were saddened.In further disclosures, he said that after he had conducted a reconnaissance of Mumbai, he had several meetings in Pakistan with LeT leader Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Sajid Mir, Abu Kahfa and Abdul Rehman Pasha and Major Iqbal. Headley revealed that during his last visit to Mumbai in July 2008, prior to the 26/11 attacks, he had surveyed and videographed the Chabad House in south Mumbai.”I don’t know who was staying there. Sajid Mir and Pasha asked me to survey this place and said that it was an international location as it had Jewish and Israeli people,” he said.Headley said he discouraged the LeT about Naval air station and Siddhivinayak temple as targets for the attack.”I discouraged them (LeT) about Naval air station and Siddhivinayak temple as targets as then all the ten attackers would have had to concentrate on one target only,” he said.Continuing to spill beans on the brazen terror attack, he said “for the 26/11 terror attack, LeT handler Sajid Mir and Abu Kahfa, on instructions from Zaki Sahab, decided to go with the stronghold option which means stay put in the place of the target and keep on fighting.””The second option that was discussed was egress option which means leave the place of target and go to India occupied Kashmir and continue fighting with the troops there,” he said.”Kahfa told me that the egress option was discarded as if it was in the mind of the person (attacker) that he has to leave then he will not fight well,” Headley further said.Headley further disclosed that during his last visit to Mumbai in July 2008, he had also gone to Siddhivinayak temple and made a video of it.”I purchased the red and yellow wrist bands…I forget the name of it. I thought that the ten youths could wear it as a cover so that people would think they were Indians. Nobody asked me to do so. I saw a man selling it outside the temple, so the thought occurred to me. After I returned to Pakistan, I gave those wrist bands to Sajid Mir and explained to him that practising Hindus in India wear this and hence, it would be a good idea if the ten gentlemen (attackers) also wear it as it would look like they are Hindus,” he said.Headley told the court that Sajid Mir had got the ten attackers Indian cellphones so that they could guide them during the terror attack.”I tested one of the phones. Sajid Mir asked me to go to Wagah border if the signal was working in the phone. I did so and informed Sajid Mir that the signals were working,” he said.When asked about the control room in Karachi from where the LeT handlers were giving instructions to the ten attackers during the terror attack, he said he “never visited the control room and did not meet any other handler, apart from Sajid Mir, Abu Kahfa and Abu-al-Kama”.He told the court that he had finalised Badhwar Park in Cuffe Parade as a landing site for the ten attackers, as the area is covered with shanties and hutments from the main road, and hence he thought it would give tactical advantage to the terrorists.Headley said that LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman wanted to finalise Gateway of India as the landing site for the 10 terrorists as it was very close to the Taj hotel.”I, however, said it was not a good idea as the attackers would be required to go through Gateway of India by crossing naval installation and they could be detected. Zaki Sahab and others agreed to my suggestion,” he said.”When Zaki Sahab saw the targets I had selected, he said this was very important and has to be done properly. Zaki Sahab said surveillance for the attacks should be done properly. He said this would give a chance to take revenge for all the bomb blasts India had done in the past in Pakistan. Zaki Sahab wished me good luck,” Headley said.He told the court that the idea to divide the ten terrorists in different groups was also discussed at one of the meetings in Pakistan. He also revealed that he had informed his first wife Shazia about the 26/11 attack. After the incident, Shazia sent him an email congratulating him, he said.”On November 28, 2008, Shazia sent me an e-mail ‘Congrats on your graduation, the ceremony was really great’. Two days later I responded saying, ‘Thank you Jaanu, I studied hard to get grades,” he said.Headley also said that during his last visit, he had purchased five books from a shop at the Taj Hotel.”One of the books was ‘Indian Army Vision 2020’. I was interested to know the progress of the Indian Army in the future,” he said.When Judge Sanap asked Headley why he had purchased the other four books, he said, “The other books were pictorial and beautiful, hence I purchased them. There is nothing sinister about those books. The first book was sinister.”Headley also told the court that six months before the attack he visited US. However he could not meet Tahawwur Rana (Headley’s business partner).”But I spoke with him on the phone. I said that I had gone to India and selected landing sites,” he said.Headley is serving a 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai attacks, in which 166 people were killed and 309 injured.
Award winning journalist and co-author of the book The Siege: The Attack Adrian Levy believes that David Headley was misleading the court when he claimed that Ishrat Jahan was a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant. Speaking to a leading English daily, he said that Headley’s claims that Jahan was an LeT operative is a ‘complete red hearing’. “This is classic Headley, taking real events – and laminating with an intoxicating story,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said that Headley was a ‘conniving, convincing sociopath who trades in half-truths’. He added that as a young man, Headley used to traffic heroin and would always betray people who were close to him, be it childhood friends, business partners, girlfriends and wives. ‘There isn’t a single relationship he entered that he has not compromised to better his situation,” he said. Levy cautioned saying that Headley was ‘a compulsive liar – who cannot be trusted’. He also said that Headley is psychopathic and ‘ thrives in an interrogation room, bonding with even skilled questioners’. Levy added that by looking at the videos of FBI questioning Headley it becomes clear and the 26/11 co-conspirator is pushing the interrogators and not the other way around.
ALSO READ #dnaEdit Why David Headley’s deposition should be taken with more than the proverbial pinch of saltLevy also said that Headley’s testimony to the Mumbai court is of little use and does not differ much from what he said to the NIA and the FBI.He said that the information provided by Headley were not first hand information and are not valuable. Levy also said that the LeT and ISI had long suspected Headley to be a double agent for the United States intelligence and gradually distanced themselves to cover-up their footsteps in the 26/11 Mumbai attack.
Was Ishrat Jahan, the Mumbra girl who was gunned down by the Gujarat police in 2004, actually a member of the women’s wing of the dreaded Laskhar-e-Toiba (LeT)? The mystery further got complicated on Thursday, after Mumbai 26/11 attack accused-turned-approver David Headley deposed in open court that Jahan was indeed a member of the banned terror outfit.Headley, who has been appearing in a sessions court trying the key plotter Sayed Zaibuddin, informed the court that during one of his meeting with Zaki-Ur-Rehman-Lakhvi, the second-in-command in LeT, a mention was made by him about a botched up operation in India, where a woman member had been gunned down at a Naka. On his further asking about the incident to another LeT member Muzamil Bhat, he explained about the operation and also mentioned the name of the deceased woman as Ishrat Jahan, who was part of the suicide bomb squad.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, during the hearing, Headley did not remember the name of the deceased woman. It was on the multiple choice answers thrown to him by special public prosecutor Ujwal Nikam – who asked: “Was the name of the deceased member Noorjehan Begum, Ishrat Jahan, or Mumtaz” – that Headley said positive to the second option.Ishrat Jahan, 19, was shot along with three men in Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004, by the crime branch of the Gujarat police on the basis of inputs provided by the Intelligence Bureau (IB). At that time, the Gujarat police had claimed that all four people who had been shot were terrorists and were involved in a plot to kill Narendra Modi. The three men who were shot dead along with Ishrat Jahan were identified as Pranesh Pillai (alias Javed Gulam Sheikh), Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar. CBI investigations, however, concluded that the shootout was stage-managed.Further, in continuance to the disclosures of other operations being carried out by LeT inside India, apart from fighting India in Kashmir, Headley said he also heard of the 2002 attack on the Akshardham temple in Gujarat. “This he claimed was done to avenge the demolition of the 1992 Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.”Two fidayeens had then sprayed bullets from their AK-56 rifles and used hand grenades to kill 33 people and injure another 86 at Akshardham Temple before being killed by NSG commandos on September 25, 2002. Later, the Gujarat police arrested six locals, who were in 2014 acquitted of all charges by the Supreme Court.Headley also mentioned roles of other wanted named in the police report. A mention was made about wanted accused Sajid Mir who was mentoring Headley’s in his operations and how happy he was after hearing the media coverage of the Mumbai terror attack, so was he. The deposition will continue on Friday.
Home Ministry officials on Thursday said their position that Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2004 in Gujarat, was a terrorist has been vindicated by the statement of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley before a Mumbai court.However, Headley’s disclosures on Ishrat carry little evidential value as his statement was based on hearsay, which carries no weight even though he was making the statement under Section 164 CrPC, which is admissible in a court of law, they feel. Besides, Headley’s statement has to be endorsed by someone like LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi which is not going to come.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Headley’s statement will not help the CBI, which had probed the alleged fake encounter as the probe agency investigated only about the June 2004 incident and not about whether the 19-year-old Mumbra girl was an LeT member or not, unnamed officials said.The CBI had named in its charge sheet former Special Director in the Intelligence Bureau Rajinder Kumar and three other IB officials with murder and criminal conspiracy in the Ishrat encounter case. However, the Home Ministry had denied sanction to prosecute the IB officials.In his testimony before a Mumbai court on Thursday, Headley reportedly said that Ishrat was actually an LeT operative. Testifying via video-link from the US, Headley spilled the beans on Ishrat from Mumbra near Mumbai and picked up her name when quizzed by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam about a “botched up operation” mentioned to him (Headley) by Lakhvi.Ishrat, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter with Gujarat Police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. The city crime branch had then said that those killed in the encounters were LeT terrorists and had landed in Gujarat to kill the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.The CBI, which took over the probe from the Gujarat High Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), had filed a charge sheet in August 2013 saying that the encounter was fake and executed in joint operation by the city crime branch and Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIT).
The BJP Government in Gujarat on Thursday hailed the disclosure by terrorist David Headley that Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan was an operative of militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, but her family said her name was being used for “political benefit of some big people”.”Headley’s testimony before a Mumbai Court today has proved that Ishrat was receiving guidance from LeT and tried to spread terror in Gujarat at that time. Gujarat Police thwarted all kinds of terrorist attacks in the past and we will continue to work in that direction,” Gujarat Minister of State for Home Rajni Patel said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another senior BJP Minister Vijay Rupani slammed Congress for “politicising” the issue and alleged the Opposition tried to malign the image of then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and state Home Minister Amit Shah at that time over the encounter of Ishrat and three others.”When Modiji as Chief Minister and Amitbhai as Home Minister were taking strong steps to curb terrorism in Gujarat and in India, Congress tried to politicise the whole issue by claiming that terrorists were innocent,” said Rupani, who holds Transport portfolio.”Now, after Headley’s testimony, it is established that Ishrat was a terrorist and steps taken by our Government at that time were just and proper. Now, everyone has to admit that Gujarat Government was right at that time.”Ishrat’s sister expressed surprise over the claim made by the Pakistani-American terrorist and said investigations have proved she was “innocent” but killed in a “fake encounter”.”It has been proved in investigations that it was a fake encounter. We are not saying this, it has been proved by the Indian investigators that my sister, Ishrat, was innocent. She was killed..it was a fake encounter and a political conspiracy,” Ishrat’s sister Musarrat said in Mumbai.”Many big people are involved in it. Headley is saying all this because they will benefit politically out of it. I don’t understand that despite investigations , which has proved she was innocent, why judgement in the case is taking so long. He (Headley) is a terrorist and is in jail in the US, how does his statement counts?” she asked.”There are big people involved in this fake encounter I do not want to take any names. All I want to day is that what others say does not matter. We are fighting a legal battle for past 11 years and it has been proved that it was a fake encounter. What Headley is saying, I don’t care. All I know and concerned is that my sister was innocent. We don’t agree to what others say,” she said.Gujarat Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia said the High Court as well as the SIT have already “admitted” that the 2004 encounter was fake, and demanded a fresh probe in the episode.”After today’s claim by Headley, there must be a fresh probe about who was Ishrat and in what activities she was involved. It is a fact that many fake encounters took place in Gujarat and Ishrat’s encounter was one of them,” he said.”As a party, we do not want to comment much. It is not important who was Ishrat. It is a fact that her encounter was fake and the High Court as well as SIT have admitted the same in the past,” added Modhwadia.In Mumbai, NCP said if Ishrat was indeed a terrorist, BJP should explain why was she killed when crucial evidence could have been gained from her interrogation.”Ishrat’s family is fighting a case in court, which will decide if she was a terrorist or not. The NCP will not support any terrorist,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik told reporters when asked about the party’s stand on Headley’s revelation.”But, if the BJP says they stand vindicated, they have to now explain to the people why did this fake encounter take place. If she was indeed a terrorist, crucial evidence could have been gained from her. What is that (Gujarat) Government wanted to hide by gunning her down?,” he asked.Four persons – Ishrat, a 19-year-old college student girl from Mumbra near Mumbai, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter with Gujarat Police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. Crime Branch had said the four were LeT terrorists on a mission to kill then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Former IB Special Director Rajinder Kumar on Thursday claimed that “someone” tried to use him as a “pawn” by dragging his name in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case to “subvert democracy”.”I am not a victim of witch hunt by CBI. Somebody attempted to use me as a pawn to subvert the democracy in the country. They tried to use me as a pawn. They failed. I did not become their pawn,” Kumar told PTI when asked whether CBI carried out a witch hunt by making him accused in the alleged fake encounter.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When asked about his comments on the testimony of LeT terrorist David Headley before a Mumbai court where he termed Ishrat Jahan as LeT member, Kumar said he would speak on the issue after a day or two.Testifying via video-link from the US, Headley picked up Ishrat’s name name when quizzed by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam about a “botched up operation” mentioned to him (Headley) by LeT commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.Headley told the court that Lakhvi had mentioned to him about a “botched-up operation” conducted in India by another LeT operative Muzammil Butt where a female member of the terror outfit was killed. Prodded by Nikam to elaborate on the operation and the members involved in it, he said, “(I was told) It was a shootout with police in which a (female) suicide bomber was killed.”To which the prosecutor prompted three names of which Headley picked up Jahan before telling the court that “there is a female wing in LeT and one Abu Aiman’s mother headed it.”CBI had filed the charge sheet against Kumar and three other IB officers despite Law ministry’s denial of sanction to prosecute them. Besides Kumar, a 1979 batch IPS officer who retired last year, those named in the charge sheet are P Mittal, M K Sinha and Rajiv Wankhede. In the supplementary charge sheet, Kumar has been charged under sections 302 (murder), 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), 364 (kidnapping in order to murder), 346, 364 & 368 (wrongful confinement) of IPC, besides sections 3, 25 (A) and 29 of the Arms Act.CBI has alleged the IB officers had conspired to eliminate the victims, kidnapped them and held them in illegal confinement before the killings. It said Kumar had supplied arms and ammunition used in the crime to another accused IPS officer Girish Singhal to be handed over to Deputy SP Tarun Barot. Ishrat (19), Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an alleged fake encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley’s revelation that Ishrat Jahan was working for Lashkar-e-Taiba, has “vindicated” Gujarat police’s stand that she was a terrorist and the gun-battle in which she was killed was “genuine”, retired IPS officer D G Vanzara said on Thursday.Ishrat, the 19-year-old college girl, and three others were killed in 2004 in an alleged fake encounter by police in Gujarat. Vanzara, who was DCP with city crime branch when the encounter took place, was granted bail by a Mumbai court in February last year. Since he is barred from entering Gujarat by the court, he resides in Mumbai at present.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The encounter was politicised and taken in another direction. Encounters were genuine but cases against Gujarat police were fake,” Vanzara told reporters.”The lie that she was an innocent college girl, has been nailed with the Headley deposition,” he said.Agencies and people claiming fake encounter should know that such claims are to be proved or disproved by the court, he said.”A chargesheet is not the final word,” he said when pointed out that he was held guilty of a fake encounter in the charge sheet.Asked what happened that day, he said that matter is subjudice. “I won’t like to go into details,” he said.”Of the four terrorists killed, talk revolves only around Ishrat,” he said.Saying that he has all respect and regards for Ishrat being a female, he wondered “what was she doing with the terrorists two of whom were from Pakistan.” “There were inputs from Central agencies that they were terrorists,” he said when asked how was he sure that Ishrat was a terrorist.The Intelligence Bureau did not have “doubt” about it then and IB does not have any doubt about it now, he claimed adding if there’s firing, police has to retaliate. There are political conspiracies and NGO conspiracies due to which Gujarat police is victimised, he alleged.Asked if it was a Congress conspiracy, he said it is not necessary to name anyone. It’s not necessary that there be a political party behind such conspiracies, he said.”I will let you know at the right time,” he said.Headley’s statement is a slap for those doubting the authenticity of the Ishrat encounter, the retired IPS officer said.”She was a terrorist. There’s no doubt about it. We don’t need Headley’s certificate for it,” he said.”The then CM (Narendra) Modi was the terrorists’ target. Many other targets were also given to her,” he said.Asked if Headley’s statement will be used in his case, Vanzara said it is for us to decide what to use and what not to use.”Whether he is double agent or single agent he is an approver, and she can give her opinion,” Vanzara said when asked about Ishrat’s mother calling Headley a double agent.Bullet for bullet action has procedural sanctity and Gujarat police didn’t do anything wrong as far as the encounter is concerned, he claimed. Asked if he was in touch with any Gujarat minister a day before the Ishrat encounter, Vanzara said all these are allegations.
New Delhi: Private player IndusInd Bank today said it had followed all regulatory guidelines while handing over cash to the Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley.
“As per the regulatory guidelines in force, cash was handed over to David Headley after completing due diligence”, the bank said in a statement.
The IndusInd Bank was responding to media reports which said that all payments to Headley were made through the bank’s Nariman Point, Mumbai, branch.
Headley, who is involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and has become an approver, has made several revelations in his deposition via conferencing before a Mumbai court. IndusInd Bank said it “has not opened any account in the name of David Headley, and has not handled any other business for him”.
In 2006, under a money transfer arrangement approved by regulators, the Bank handled a few inward remittances under the Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS), in the normal course of business, in October-November, it said.
Further, IndusInd Bank said it had obtained the required documents, including a copy of Headley’s passport, issued by the US authorities, valid from March 2006 to March 2016. There were investigations by national agencies between 2009 and 2011 and the KYC documents were produced before them, the bank said.
Headley, who is currently serving 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the terror attacks, has said he had changed his name from Dawood Gilani to David Headley in 2006 so that he could enter India and set up some business.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam on Monday downplayed Ishrat Jahan’s lawyer Vrinda Grover’s criticism that David Coleman Headley’s version was not evidence as per Indian law as he was given a ‘multiple choice question’ by a ‘Padma Shri’ lawyer, saying that he posed the question based on information received from the concerned intelligence agencies. ‘You might have noted that when I put this question to David Headley, then I was very clear that how many wings were operating in Lashkar and David Headley had clearly said that there was a women wing, finance wing as well as the overall militant operation wing then I did ask that who was the in-charge of the women wing. So, there was no question at all which would lead David Headley to say a particular answer,’ Nikam told the media.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>’When he had categorically said that Muzammil Bhat told him and he also said that as to why Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhavi was upset and annoyed by his botched operation. And, therefore, I did ask him how you came to know about that botched operation. Then he told that Muzammil Bhat told me that this had happened. In fact, I did not put any particular name of the woman attacker of LeT and in fact I had given in all fairness various options which I came to know from our investigating officers. And, therefore, I put three, four names; out of which, Headley selected one name,’ he added.Nikam further said the NIA has already made investigation in this respect.’I am not aware as to what David Headley told the NIA. I am only supposed to interrogate David Headley on oath and I had discharged my duty,’ he added.Ishrat Jahan’s lawyer has said that certain questions have been put to Headley by the prosecutor, which have nothing to do with the 26/11 case.’I don’t know why suddenly these questions were put. They can have a political relevance, but they can have no relevance to 26/11’The public prosecutor in a procedure which is wrong and illegal in law gives a multiple choice question to a witness and says ‘now I will give you three names you select one name which will be that female LeT person’,’ said Grover.’He gives this three multiple choices and he says ‘Noor Begum, Ishrat Jahan and Mumtaz’. He (Headley) selects Ishrat Jahan. This is double hearsay and he is saying I have no personal knowledge,’ she added.Throwing light on the Ishrat Jahan case, Grover further said, ‘We were told that there was an encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in June 2004in which Ishrat Jahan ‘ a young girl from a very poor family of Mumbra was found dead ‘ and we were told that these were terrorists. That matter came up for investigation because her mother said my daughter is not a terrorist and she filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court. The Gujarat High Court after many years of our pursuance they investigated the matter. There was a Special Investigation Team set up by the Gujarat High Court.”The investigation said this was a fake encounter, these people had been taken into illegal custody by the police, they were detained and then they were killed in cold-blood and the whole thing was a staged encounter. After that the CBI also investigated into it and found that it was a cold-blooded murder. Chargesheets were filed and they are pending in the Gujarat court against senior police officials of Gujarat as well as the IB officers that this was a larger criminal conspiracy,’ she added.Grover further said investigation and the witnesses clearly point to political people, who were behind this conspiracy in this case. ‘For reasons best known to the CBI, the investigation was abruptly closed and that line of investigation was not taken further,’ she added. Ishrat, who was from Mumbra in Mumbai, was shot dead along with three men in Gujarat in 2004 by police officers who claimed that they were terrorists involved in a plot to kill Narendra Modi, then the Chief Minister.
Extremely upset with David Coleman Headley’s statement on Ishrat Jahan, the family members of the 19-year-old girl on Thursday questioned the veracity of the claims made by the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict. Ishrat’s uncle Rauf Lala said it’s up to the people to decide whether they agree with the CBI report or Headley’s claim. “Attempts were made to link Ishrat’s name from Headley. Three names were kept in front of him, he selected one. The CBI has established it in its chargesheet. It has been established in the court that it was not an encounter, but Ishrat Jahan was murdered. Now, the people have to decide if they want to believe the CBI report or David Headley,” Lala said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are following this case from the last 10 years. This statement is not new or shocking. David Headley is sitting there and making accusations. The probe agencies must investigate the truth,” he added. Ishrat’s uncle further stated that they have full faith on the country’s judicial system. While deposing before the court via video link from an undisclosed location in the United States, Headley said that there was a women’s wing in the LeT.Deposing before the court, Headley claimed that the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi told him about a botched up operation of Muzammil in India. “The operation was about shooting the police at some naka. One woman LeT named Ishrat Jahan was involved. Muzammil Bhatt was the head of our group before Sajid Mir,” he told the court.He, however, denied the involvement of any woman suicide bomber in the LeT but later named Ishrat Jahan as an LeT operative.Early on the morning of 15 June 2004, Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were shot dead on the road leading to the Kotarpur waterworks on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The encounter was carried out allegedly by a team led by DIG DG Vanjara, who was later jailed for his alleged involvement in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter.The police alleged that Ishrat and her associates were Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives involved in a plot to assassinate the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. Later, an investigation was launched into the allegations that Ishrat was killed in a fake encounter. After a long investigation, in 2009, an Ahmedabad Metropolitan court ruled that the encounter was staged.The decision was challenged by the Gujarat State government, and taken to the High Court. On July 3, 2013, the CBI has filed its first chargesheet in an Ahmedabad court saying that the shooting was a staged encounter carried out in cold blood.
1. RIP Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Hanamanthappa; you will live in our heartsLance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, the Siachen braveheart who defied death for six days buried under snow, passed away on Thursday morning. Read more here2. Ishrat Jehan was part of LeT, says David Headley to Mumbai court<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While deposing before the court via video link from an undisclosed spot in the United States, Headley said that there was a women’s wing in the LeT. Read more here3. Here is why UAE’s ADNOC will give India two-thirds oil for freeIn a first of its kind deal, UAE’s national oil company Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has agreed to store crude oil in India’s maiden strategic storage facility and give two-third of the oil to it for free. Read more here4. Yathannsh Kulshrestha is the first Student from Rajasthan to win the Google Code-in contestIn the Google Code-in 2015 contest, 980 students from 65 countries completed 4,686 tasks with 14 open source organisations. Read more here5. Match-fixing allegations: MS Dhoni threatens to file Rs 100 crore defamation case against Hindi dailyDhoni and the lawyers are mulling over suing the publishers for damages upto Rs 100 crores on account of defamation, trauma, and mental agony. Read more here
Editor’s Note: This article was published on 13 July, 2013 and is being re-published in light of David Headley’s deposition on Thursday that identified Ishrat Jahan as a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative
Late in the summer of 2004, the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s top operations commander Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi held the terrorist organisation’s first meeting with David Headley, the young Chicago drug dealer-turned-jihadist at the heart of the 26/11 project. Lakhvi told Headley he would be working with Muzammil Bhat, the full-bearded 6’4” giant in the room, who counted among the Lashkar’s most able operatives. Bhat’s achievements, Federal Bureau of Investigations interrogators recorded Headley as being told, included multiple strikes in Kashmir and recruiting a “female suicide bomber named Ishrat Jahaan [sic].”
“Zaki,” Headley went on, “mentioned Muzammil’s plans to attack Akshardham temple, Somnath and Siddhi temples. These attacks were revenge for the 1988 attack on the mosque in Yuppe [sic, the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh].”
Nine years since a hail of bullets ripped through Mumbra resident Ishrat Jahan Raza’s body, a Central Bureau of Investigations into her killing, along with three men, threatens to indict the highest leadership of India’s intelligence services for cold-blooded execution.
Even as the CBI works towards finding out just how Ishrat died, there’s a growing mass of evidence that suggests the United Progressive Alliance government has been economical with the truth about her life and her death.
Last year, the National Investigations Agency told Gujarat High Court judges Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari they had nothing but “hearsay” on Ishrat. Firstpost’s documentation on the FBI interrogation of Headley shows the union government knew otherwise—but remained silent.
It isn’t the only thing it has chosen to be silent on.
Early on the morning of 15 June 2004, Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were shot dead on the road leading to the Kotarpur waterworks on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. KP Singh was at that time director of the Intelligence Bureau; Nehchal Sandhu, who is today deputy national security advisor, was then in charge of counter-terrorism operations; MK Narayanan, who is today West Bengal governor, was then advisor on internal security. And Manmohan Singh was Prime Minister, then as now.
The first three, without doubt, would have known of the IB warning that went out to all states on 22 April 2004, warning of imminent attacks on top Hindu nationalist politicians, including LK Advani.
Later, the IB’s Gujarat station would provide the Gujarat Police more detail, telling Ahmedabad’s police chief there were two Pakistani terrorists with Punjabi accents planning an attack, in coordination with a Pune resident.
From accounts given to Firstpost by three separate intelligence sources, the IB’s operation had its genesis in February 2004, when the Jammu and Kashmir Police shot dead Poonch-based Lashkar operative Ehsan Illahi.
Letters found on Illahi’s body led the police to an Ahmedabad-based lawyer. From there, the operation rolled on. There’s some reason to believe the Lashkar’s plot was penetrated. First Information Report 8 of 2004, filed by the Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch after the killing, records that the authorities knew of the imminent arrival of a blue Tata Indica carrying the victims, bearing the licence plate number MH02 JA4786—suggesting the Intelligence Bureau had an informant on the inside.
“No one suggested that based on an intelligence input you should kill someone,” former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said in 2009. That’s true, but it neatly dodges the question of what the UPA did when four terrorists whom its intelligence services were following ended up dead.
The CBI hasn’t sought any answers, so far, from any of the people who can answer that question.
We know next to nothing, too, about what led Javed Sheikh to his death. Born Praneshkumar Pillai at Thamarakulam village in Kerala’s Alappuzha district, Sheikh met and fell in love with Sajida Sheikh in 1986. He converted to Islam in an (unsuccessful) effort to overcome her family’s resistance. In September 1995, though, the two married and moved to Mumbai’s Mumbra area. Then, they shifted to Pune after a business dispute turned violent. Sheikh’s life continued to be turbulent; the police filed four rioting cases against him in 1997 alone.
In 2003, Sheikh left for Dubai, securing a job on a forged Indian Technical Institute certificate. He returned, according to Sajida Sheikh’s testimony, embittered by videotapes he had seen of the anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat.
On 29 March 2004, Sheikh again flew to Oman, on passport E6624023, identifying him as Praneshkumar M. Gopinath Pillai—having obtained this in addition to a passport in his Muslim name. He flew back to Mumbai on 11 April carrying Rs 2.5 lakh in cash, which he used to purchase the Indica he drove to his death.
The government said, in a 2004 affidavit, that Sheikh “was in regular touch with Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives, particularly Muzammil Bhat.” Government sources say there is wiretap evidence to back this up, but the UPA hasn’t ever ordered it made public, and the CBI hasn’t sought it.
Sheikh met Ishrat and her mother in Mumbra on 1 May 2004—where Sheikh said he needed a salesgirl for a new perfume store. There is no evidence that Sheikh ran a perfume business.
On 30 May, he drove his wife and children to the family home in Alappuzha. From 6 June to 9 June, the family stayed at Sajida Sheikh’s family home in Ahmednagar. Then, Sajida Sheikh said, her husband called on the morning of 11 June to say he had to go to Mumbai on unexpected work. Two days later, when Sajida Sheikh called her husband, his cellphone was out of network reach.
Hotel staff at the Tulsi Guest House in Bardoli, on National Highway 6 outside of Surat, say Sheikh and Ishrat checked in after 2 am on 12 June 2004. On 14 June, their car developed mechanical trouble. The staff at the Shakti Motor Garage outside Ahmedabad told the police that Sheikh paid Rs 1,025 for repairs.
Earlier this month, additional solicitor-general Indira Jaisingh told the Supreme Court the CBI has evidence the group was kidnapped on the orders of former state intelligence chief PP Pandey at least a day before they were shot dead. Last month, the CBI interrogated former Gujarat Intelligence Bureau station chief Rajinder Kumar, now in charge of counter-intelligence operations. The organisation is reported to be seeking his arrest, saying he was responsible for having the alleged terrorists “detained illegally and brought to Gujarat.” It’s hard to see how his superiors wouldn’t have known—and why they aren’t being asked about it.
Funnily, though, the five police officers alleged to have been actually present when Ishrat was allegedly kidnapped and killed—Girish Singhal, Tarun Barot, JG Parmar, Bharat Patel and Anaju Chaudhary—got bail after the CBI failed to file charges against them in the 90 days allowed by law.
This presumably happened because the CBI doesn’t have enough evidence against them to sustain a prosecution—though it claims to have witnesses to the kidnapping and illegal detention.
Nine years ago, no one knew for sure whether Ishrat was a terrorist or not, and whether she was killed in cold blood or a legitimate exchange of fire.
It’s unclear why the CBI hasn’t spoken to large numbers of people who might have something to add to this story.
From the testimony of Faizabad resident Muhammad Wasi, made before an Ahmedabad magistrate, there’s reason to believe Sheikh shopped for pistols and a sten gun in Uttar Pradesh sometime after February 2004. Wasi claims Sheikh was introduced to him by another Faizabad resident, Muhammad Mehrajuddin—whom the CBI hasn’t even sought to locate.
The CBI hasn’t questioned Muhammad Abdul Razzak, an alleged jihadist held by the Delhi Police in 2005, who claimed to have told interrogators he sent Sheikh to a jihad training camp.
Kashmir residents Majid Husain Qadri, Pervez Ahmad Khan Abdul Aziz Shah, alleged to have helped Amjad Ali Rana after he was shot trying to cross the Line of Control, have never once been questioned. Investigators say the three men had Johar treated in New Delhi, at the City Clinic in Paharganj. Siddharth Sahai, who performed surgery on Rana, identified him when the police showed him photographs.
Then, there’s Headley’s testimony—totally ignored so far.
For years now, we’ve got plenty of things that make headlines, but nothing resembling even part of the truth.
In 2009, metropolitan magistrate KS Tamang indicted the police for faking the encounter, but in a report full of mind-boggling nonsense: “given the nature of women, none usually wears her college identity card during journey”; “when any lady travels from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, she invariably carries her purse and handkerchief in her hands.” It made multiple errors of appraisal, from misreading forensic evidence to presumptively declaring the suspects “innocents”.
Gujarat’s High Court responded to petitions by the families of Ishrat and Sheikh by appointing a special investigation team. From the outset, there was contention with Karnail Singh and Mohan Jha, among allegations of bias. Notably, lead officer Satish Verma rejected the findings of forensic experts who concluded that the encounter didn’t appear faked at all. Verma himself faces allegations relating to alleged negligence in the landing of smuggled explosives and extrajudicial killings—and the targets of investigation claim, rightly or wrongly, that he harbours biases against them.
Like all truths, the whole truth about Ishrat Jahan’s life and death likely won’t please anyone. It’s critical, though, to the credibility of India’s criminal justice system, and the future of our struggle against terrorism. Nothing anyone has done so far, though, suggests anyone really wants to tell the story—and nothing the CBI is doing gives reason to think that’s going to change.
Reacting to 26/11 conspirator David Coleman Headley’s statement to a Mumbai special court that Ishrat Jahan was a Lashkar suicide affiliate, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday took indirect potshots at Nitish Kumar for referring to Ishrat Jahan as ‘Bihar’s daughter’ saying the statements must be taken back.”Those who were doing politics on her name and calling her martyr has got startling revelation today. After the encounter many leaders used to call her innocent and some were calling her Bihar’s daughter. Today after Headley’s statement those minister who had said it should take back their statements,” BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain told ANI here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, Hussain also said that Headley’s revelations have put Islamabad’s under question.”What David Headley is saying, India has been saying this for long time. And it has been revealed. Now it is confirmed that Pakistan was fully involved in 26/11. Now Pakistan has to give an answer to this,” he added.He further said that the Pathankot attack was also done by Pakistan but no action has been taken as yet.”India hopes that Pakistan will take stringent action against those who are involved in the attacks,” Hussain said.The deposition of David Coleman Headley began before a special Mumbai court on Thursday where he is revealing the sequence of events and planning behind the 26/11 terror attacks.He also named Ishrat Jahan and said she was a Lashkar suicide bomber.
David Coleman Headley, one of the prime accused in the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai, told a special Mumbai court on Thursday that Ishrat Jehan, the 19-year-old girl who was killed in an alleged ‘fake encounter’ in 2004, was affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).While deposing before the court via video link from an undisclosed spot in the United States, Headley said that there was a women’s wing in the LeT.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Deposing before the court, Headley claimed that the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi told him about a botched up operation of Muzammil in India.”The operation was about shooting the police at some naka. One woman LeT named Ishrat Jehan was involved. Muzammil Bhatt was the head of our group before Sajid Mir,” he told the court. He, however, denied the involvement of any woman suicide bomber in the LeT but later named Ishrat Jehan as an LeT operative.Early on the morning of 15 June 2004, Ishrat Jehan, Javed Sheikh, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were shot dead on the road leading to the Kotarpur waterworks on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The encounter was carried out allegedly by a team led by DIG DG Vanjara, who was later jailed for his alleged involvement in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter.The police alleged that Ishrat and her associates were Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives involved in a plot to assassinate the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. Later, an investigation was launched into the allegations that Ishrat was killed in a fake encounter. After a long investigation, in 2009, an Ahmedabad Metropolitan court ruled that the encounter was staged.The decision was challenged by the Gujarat State government, and taken to the High Court. On 3 July 2013, the CBI has filed its first chargesheet in an Ahmedabad court saying that the shooting was a staged encounter carried out in cold blood.
1. Live: David Headley deposes before Mumbai court; says Tahawwur Rana visited Mumbai before 26/11Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley on Thursday continued his deposition for the fourth day before a court. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Mark Zuckerberg says Marc Andreessen’s comments on India ‘deeply upsetting’; Andreessen apologisesFacebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday condemned board director Marc Andreessen’s Twitter outburst in a Facebook post. Read more here3. Siachen avalanche survivor Hanumanthappa sinking; condition extremely criticalThe best is not proving good enough for Siachen miracle man Lance Naik Hanumanthappa, whose condition deteriorated on Wednesday at Army Research and Referral (R&R) Hospital here, where he was flown in a day before. Read more here4. Pakistan facing growing threat of Islamic State: IB chiefThe admission by IB chief about presence of ISIS came after a string of denials by officials about its footprints in Pakistan. Read more here5. PCB has one eye on bilateral series while talking security in IndiaPakistan Cricket Board’s apparent suggestion that “it may not be able to send team to T20 tourney if government refuses permission on security grounds” is seen as nothing but last-minute tactics to get assurance over bilateral series resumption in 2017. Read more here
India may ask Pakistan to seek deposition of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley through video conferencing before its court, where the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case is being tried, to gather more evidence so that those involved in the incident could be punished.As the Pakistani-American terrorist talked about ISI’s “financial, military and moral support” to LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen in his deposition to a Mumbai court, there is a possibility of India asking Pakistan to take a similar initiative to ensure production of Headley before the court in Pakistan where the 26/11 trial has been going on. “It is one of the actions which could be taken. A decision has to be taken at the highest level,” a senior government official said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Since Pakistan is in denial on the evidence provided by India so far, Pakistan should speak to the US for Headley’s testimony through video conferencing to get first-hand evidence, the official said. The trial of the Mumbai terror attack case in Pakistan is moving at a very slow pace with frequent disruption and change of judges. In his deposition before a Mumbai court, Headley gave out details about 26/11 attacks and his role in it.While testifying via video-link from the US, Headley said he was working for Pakistan Army and ISI besides LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) and that he knew about ISI official Brigadier Riyaz being the handler of LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi who was a key man responsible for the November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai. He also said that LeT had planned an attack at a conference of Indian defence scientists at Taj Mahal Hotel a year before the 26/11 strikes and had even prepared its dummy.But the plan was dropped because of logistical reasons, like difficulty in smuggling in weapons and personal and failure to know the schedule of the meet, he said. Headley, who had visited India seven times to scout for targets, said he had also conducted a recce of the famous Siddhivinayak Temple and Naval air station.
1. Siachen braveheart’s condition remains critical: Army hospitalThe condition of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad of 19 Madras regiment, who was rescued alive six days after being buried under tonnes of ice in Siachen Glacier, remains very critical, the army said today. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read: Woman offers to donate kidney to critical Lance Naik Koppad2. Return of Odd-Even: Arvind Kejriwal to announce dates tomorrowThe ‘odd-even’ scheme is “all set” make a comeback in the national capital, the dates to which will be announced by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tomorrow. Transport Minister Gopal Rai said that the government will make the announcement after reviewing over 11 lakh responses received from the public through multiple channels. Read more here3. New Hampshire win shows Donald Trump’s Prez bid cannot be taken lightlyDonald Trump served notice on Tuesday to those who have refused to take his 2016 White House campaign seriously: The celebrity real-estate developer and former reality show host is no joke.While Trump had been expected to win New Hampshire’s nominating contest, he swamped the Republican field by almost 20 points, demonstrating that his passionate, anti-establishment supporters could be relied on to show up and vote when it counts. Read more here4. RK Pachauri ‘demoted, not promoted’, says lawyer”This is completely false, this post is in existence since the inception of TERI, which was somewhere in 1970s. JRD Tata used to be the chairman and Darbari Seth used to be the vice-chairman. This post is there since then. As of now, no one was occupying this. And, there is other allegation that this is some kind of promotion,” RK Pachauri’s lawyer Ashish Dixit said. Read more here5. Day 3 of David Headley’s deposition before Mumbai court adjourned due to technical snagLashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley’s deposition before a Mumbai court was on Wednesday adjourned due to a technical glitch in the video conference from the US. In the last two days, Headley has revealed several details of the planning that led to the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people and injured 309. Read more here
Mumbai: The deposition of American-Pakistani terrorist David Coleman Headley has been adjourned till Thursday due to technical glitches.
“Headley can’t depose due to a technical snag. The problem is from the American side but they have promised us that they will allow us to question Headley for an extra hour or more than that. Technical problem wasn’t from Indian side. Tomorrow the desposition will start from 7 am till 1.30 pm. The duration can even be extended,” special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told reporters on Wednesday.
The deposition of Headley on Wednesday was initially delayed due to a technical snag in the video conference. Headley was deposing for the third consecutive day before a court here in connection with 26/11 terror attack case.
Special public prosecutor, who is presently examining Headley, told PTI the deposition has been delayed temporarily due to a technical snag from their side.
However, it is still not clear if the deposition for the day will be cancelled.
Headley is being examined as an approver in the 26/11.
Deposing from a undisclosed location yesterday, Headley told the special judge G A Sanap that ISI was helping different terror outfits in Pakistan by providing financial, military and moral support.
Terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen are given “financial” and “military” support by the ISI, Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley said yesterday as he made fresh revelations including about an aborted plan to target Indian defence scientists and famous Siddhivinayak temple here.
Continuing his expose on the role of Pakistan-based terror organisations, its army, spy agency ISI and others, LeT terrorist-turned-approver Headley on Tuesday described how he was assigned to gather military intelligence in India, recruit spies from the Indian Army and stay at the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai to do a thorough recce before the attacks were firmed up.
On Tuesday, his second day of his deposition through video-conferencing from a US jail before the special TADA court here, Headley said he was tasked with luring spies from the Indian Army to work for Pakistan’s ISI.
A man identified as Major Ali of the Pakistan Army wanted him to note troop movement in India as part of the plan to infiltrate the military establishments here.
“He wanted me to note the movement of troops in India. He wanted someone to spy on matters of military intelligence, movement of officers. He wanted me to develop contacts with officials of Indian military forces with a purpose to gather intelligence,” said Headley.
In response to questions posed by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, Headley admitted to working both for the LeT and the ISI.
Headley on Monday revealed that the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks were planned over a year in Pakistan.
Detailing the planning for the 26/11 strike, he said that in November-December 2007, he had attended a meeting in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir along with his LeT contact Sajid Mir and Abu Khafa, in which they asked him to conduct a recce of Hotel Taj Mahal Palace and other locations in Mumbai.
Headley spoke in detail about the methodical planning that went into the Taj Mahal hotel attack. He stayed there on the second floor with wife Faiza, where he conducted surveillance of the floor, reports The Hindu.
At the fag end of the deposition, Headley spilled one more shocker: Bhabha Atomic Research Centre was one of the targets, reports The Telegraph.
With inputs from agencies
Terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen are given “financial” and “military” support by the ISI, Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley said on Tuesday as he made fresh revelations including about an aborted plan to target Indian defence scientists and famous Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai.Deposing before a court in Mumbai for the second day via video-link from the US, he said he was working for Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI besides LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) and that he knew about ISI official Brigadier Riyaz being the handler of LeT’s top commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who was the mastermind of the November 26,2008 attacks in Mumbai.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I was also working for ISI and had met many people from the Pakistan Army,” he told the Special Judge G A Sanap during his deposition which will resume on Wednesday.He named three officials of the Pakistan army and ISI — Colonel Shah, Lt Colonel Hamza and Major Samir Ali – besides retired army officer Abdul Rehman Pasha who was closely working with LeT and Al-Qaeda. Headley said his assessment was that ISI and LeT were coordinating with each other.”ISI provides financial, military and moral support to terror outfits Jaish-e-Mohammed, LeT and Hizbul Mujaideen,” he said, even though he claimed that his opinion was formed on the basis of hearsay.Headley, who had visited Mumbai seven times to scout for targets, revealed that plans to target Mumbai had started over a year before November 26, 2008 and that LeT initially wanted to attack a conference of Indian defence scientists at Taj Mahal Hotel for which even a dummy of the hotel was prepared.But the plan to target scientists was dropped because of logistical reasons, like difficulty in smuggling in weapons and personal and lack of details about the schedule of the meet, he said. He said he had also conducted a recce of the famous Siddhivinayak Temple and Naval air station. He said the LeT group as a whole is responsible for the terror attacks in India and it can be speculated that all orders come from Lakhvi since he is its “top commander”.Headley, who had told the court on Monday that he was a “true follower” of LeT, today said ISI official Brigadier Riyaz was the handler of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. When shown a photograph of Lakhvi, the LeT operative identified him. The LeT operative said he had been asked by Pakistan’s ISI to recruit Indian armymen to spy for them.Giving details about plans to target India’s commercial capital, Headley said, “In November-December 2007, the LeT held a meeting in Muzaffarabad (in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) which was attended by (LeT operatives) Sajid Mir and Abu Kahfa. In this meeting, it was decided that terror attacks would be conducted in Mumbai. The task of conducting recce of Taj Hotel in Mumbai was assigned to me.”He said LeT operatives Sajid Mir and Abu Kahfa had “some information that there was going to be a meeting of Indian defence scientists at the conference hall in Taj Hotel. They wanted to plan an attack at that time. They also made a mock (dummy) of the Taj Hotel.”The “plan to attack the conference hall in Taj was cancelled due to logistical reasons, like it was not possible to get weapons and personnel to the hall,” he said, adding another reason for dropping of the plan was that he could not get details about the schedule of the conference.About plan to target Siddivinayak Temple, Headley said, “Sajid Mir (Headley’s handler in LeT) specifically asked me to make video” of it. Prior to November 2007, he said, the targets in Mumbai had not been decided.Continuing to spill the beans, he said that, “I met Abdul Rehman Pasha (retired Army officer) in Pakistan in early 2003 at a mosque in Lahore. When I first met Pasha he was with LeT. At that time he had no relation with Al-Qaeda, but may be after two years, he left LeT to join Al-Qaeda.””I met Major Iqbal of ISI in Lahore in early 2006. He asked me to gather military intelligence from India and also try to recruit someone from the Indian military to spy. I told Major Iqbal that I would do as he asked,” Headley said.”Samir Ali also wanted me to do some intelligence work in India. I was in contact with Samir Ali over phone,” he said.On his links with militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s founder Masood Azhar, he said, “I know Maulana Masood Azhar as I saw him once in October 2003. He is the head of Jaish-e-Mohammed. In October 2003, there was a gathering of LeT and he was a guest speaker there.”
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The US has said it is committed to assist India in bringing perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks to justice after Pakistani-American key LeT operative David Coleman Headley in his first deposition told a court that Pakistani terrorists conducted 26/11 strikes after two failed attempts. “The United States is committed to doing all we can to assist the government of India in pursuing every possible lead to bring to justice those responsible for that attack to the fullest extent permitted by US law,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Certainly, it’s indicative of our commitment to making sure the perpetrators of that attack are brought to justice and I think it’s indicative of a close relationship with India, again, in a law enforcement realm but across all others as well,” Kirby said.Kirby was responding to questions on the deposition by Pakistani-American terrorist Headley, who yesterday told a Mumbai court via a video-link from the US how his outfit had planned the 26/11 attacks and executed it after two failed attempts and gave details of the role played by ISI whose three officials he named. Headley, who is serving 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai attacks, spoke about the role of LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, another LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi as well as his handler in the outfit Sajid Mir. “We’ll always look to try to improve our cooperation across all different aspects of the relationship. I don’t want to prejudge or presuppose here based on this testimony, that that it has a strategic value here. That’s not for me to speak to,” Kirby said.This was a decision and this was an event set up and established by Department of Justice, Kirby said, adding the US has a very strong relationship with India on a lot of levels and law enforcement is one of them.Described himself as a “true follower of LeT”, Headley also admitted during his examination by special prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam that he joined the ranks of LeT after getting “influenced and motivated” by the speeches of Hafiz Saeed.
1. Live | David Headley begins testifying before Mumbai court via video link from US on Day 2Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley continued to depose before a Mumbai court via a video-link from the US on Tuesday. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Siachen avalanche: One army jawan found alive under 25 feet of snowAn army jawan who was buried under 25 feet of snow following an avalanche in the Siachen glacier was on Monday miraculouly found alive in critical condition after six days of rescue efforts. Read more here3. Jolt to Zuckerberg as Trai says no to discriminatory tariffIndia’s Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Monday took a historic stand on it and came out with a regulation prohibiting “discriminatory tariff for data services”. Read more here4. Former Nepal PM Sushil Koirala dies, PM Modi says India lost a valued friendFormer Prime Minister of Nepal and Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala passed away due to pneumonia at his residence early on Tuesday. He was 79. Read more here5. World T20: Is Ajinkya Rahane the final piece in batting jigsaw puzzle?As India take on Sri Lanka in first T20I today, Rahane’s spot in balanced team for World T20 remains in question. Read more here
By Seema Guha
If India is under the illusion that the questioning of David Coleman Headley, the American national involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack will help nail Pakistan, it is sadly mistaken. Headley is merely corroborating what is already known, and the entire tamasha involved in his video deposition is fluff for public consumption.
The FBI had already briefed Indian authorities after questioning Headley, soon after it was disclosed that he was involved in the Mumbai suicide attacks and had been to the city to gather details of the locations that were on the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s radar. In December last year, he was pardoned by the Mumbai court after he turned approver or a prosecution witness. Headley, who was sentenced in 2013 by a Chicago court to 35 years in a US prison for his role in the atrocity, said that two previous attempts were made in September and October but they were unsuccessful.
A Pakistan-born US citizen, he is said to have been sent out by the American intelligence to befriend the terror groups and get to know their mind in an attempt to take action against likely terror attacks. However, Headley became a double agent. He joined the LeT in 2002 and took what he described as a “course”’ with them at Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Headley said what everyone already knows — that the LeT chief is Hafiz Saeed and identified him in a photograph shown by the Indian prosecutors.
Nevertheless, Indian authorities are pleased that Headley was allowed by the US to answer questions on video. “This is the first time perhaps in the world’s legal history, that a terrorist will tender live evidence in a foreign country. Headley will likely divulge the larger aspect of the criminal conspiracy behind the 26/11 terror attacks. This would strengthen the present trial pending against Indian nationals. The US government has supported the endeavour taking into consideration the global challenge of terrorism,” special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said.
But to what end ?
Much of this information is already known. Headley identifying Hafiz Saeed will not make any difference. The Pakistani authorities are afraid to take any action against Saeed. Headley’s testimony to the Mumbai court will also not affect the trial of the seven Pakistani terrorists including Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, arrested soon after the Mumbai attacks. The case has not moved forward, as the courts have not found enough evidence against the terror suspects.
So what is the big deal here? “The government possibly wants to tell a gullible people that it is doing its best to get justice for the victims of the Mumbai attacks. But in real terms, the Headley
deposition is of no use. All facts of the case are known. But who will persuade Pakistan to take action?” asked Ajai Sahni, director of the Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management. “Naming and shaming Pakistan has been of no use as the world has discovered. So Headley pointing a finger at Pakistan makes no difference,’’ he added.
What has Headley told the Mumbai Court:
1. Before the November 2008 terror attack, the LeT had made two unsuccessful attacks in September and October to carry out multiple suicide attacks. The same 10 key men were involved.
2. Sajid Mir was Headley’s main contact in the LeT in Pakistan. He persuaded him to change his name from Daood Gilani to David Coleman Headley to make it easier for him to travel to India without suspicion. He visited India nine times, without raising any suspicion. LeT asked him to make a general video of Mumbai. Mir planned to have Headley settle in India.
3. Headley identified Hafiz Saeed in a photograph shown to him in court saying, “Yes, that is Mr Hafiz Saeed” and said Saeed lectured him and other recruits about jihad against India.
4. Headley said LeT has carried out terror attacks all over India and said it “assists the people of Kashmir to fight the Indian Army.”
Headley’s testimony may possibly help to get one of the domestic terror “handlers” Zabihuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal, convicted. He is currently the only person being tried in the case. Ajmal Kasab the only terrorist caught alive had earlier identified Jundal as his handler.
With focus back on the Mumbai attacks, with Headley’s testimony, chances of India-Pakistan peace talks have receded further. Pakistan is said to have rejected India’s charge that the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were behind the Pathankot terror attacks and refused to act against its chief Masood Azhar for lack of evidence.
Headley’s testimony together with the latest turnaround has clearly signalled another period of freeze in India-Pakistan ties.
New Delhi: As Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley illustrated how his outfit had planned the 26/11 attacks, Congress on Monday asked the government what it would do now to bring the guilty of the Mumbai terror strikes to book.
Party spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters that there was never any doubt about Pakistan’s involvement in the terror strikes and “strong evidence” had been provided to Islamabad.
The question now is how the Narendra Modi government would respond to bring to justice LeT leaders like Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who have been released from jail, Tewari asked.
He said Pakistan had a hand in the terror attacks and it is a fact that Masood Azhar who was released from jail following IC 804 hijack was behind the Pathankot terror strike.
He said that while in the Opposition, the BJP had been harping that talks and terror cannot go together. Headley, who is serving a 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai attacks, spoke about the role of LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, Lakhvi as well as his handler in the outfit Sajid Mir.
He gave the sequence of events leading up to the November 26, 2008 assault as he deposed before special judge G A Sanap in Mumbai via video link, in the first such case of deposition in an Indian court from foreign land.
Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist-turned-approver David Coleman Headley on Monday unleashed a goldmine of information for Indian authorities on the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, deposing via video conference from a US jail before Special TADA Court Judge G.A. Sanap in Mumbai. Headley is scheduled to speak again Tuesday.
Headley, an LeT operative who is currently serving 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai attacks, detailed the sequence of events leading up to the 26 November, 2008 assault as he deposed before Special Judge GA Sanap for nearly five-and-a-half-hours.
Among the stunning disclosures – two unsuccessful attempts were made in Mumbai in September and October 2008 which failed, before the final strike at multiple locations in south Mumbai on November 26-29, 2008.
Headley spilled the names of officials connected to the Pakistan Army and spoke of their role, its dreaded Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the LeT and others who were involved in the conspiracy, planning and execution of the 26/11 attacks which killed 166 people and injured hundreds more.
“Headley has made several sensitive revelations. We are satisfied with the evidence,” said Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, visibly pleased.
Headley also named LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and his close associate Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi — both suspected right from the beginning since the investigations were launched by Indian agencies after the attacks.
Naming two people directly linked with the Pakistan Army and the ISI — Major Iqbal and Major Ali — Headley unravelled how he was arrested by the Pakistan Army around 2002 when he was going to meet a drug smuggler to make arrangements to send arms and ammunitions consignments to Kashmiri groups fighting the Indian Army.
The two army majors also supervised his two-year-long training by the LeT at a camp in Muzaffarabad, which is in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), he added.
Admitting he was an LeT functionary, Headley identified a picture of his main contact in the terror group – Sajid Mir – and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and said he was “inspired” by Saeed’s fiery speeches to join and was trained by the terrorist group in 2002.
The Hindu reports on the details of the Headley-Sajid Mir connection.
Both Saeed and Lakhvi used to address these terror training camps, while others like Abu Furkad, Sanaullah, Abu Hanzala, Abu Saif, Abu Fahadullah and Abu Usman were his trainers, he said.
In those two years, he was given leadership training, how to handle AK-47 assault rifles, bombs and explosives.
To a query by Nikam on “sophisticated weapons training”, Headley said if an AK-47 was sophisticated, then he was trained to operate it.
In ‘Daura-e-Khas, which is a more advanced training, he was taught to handle weapons, arms, explosives and ammunition, the LeT operative said.
He said he was also given ‘Daura-e-Ribat’ training, an intelligence course in which setting up of safe houses and reconnaissance are taught. The center where it is taught is in Mansera, 40 miles from Abbottabad, a place in Pakistan where former Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed by the US.
About the motive behind joining the LeT, Headley said he wanted to assist the Kashmiris fighting against the Indian Army in the border state.
But, when he desired to join the Kashmiris, Saeed dissuaded him and said he had another “important assignment” for him in mind.
On the two unsuccessful attempts to wreak havoc in Mumbai that year, Headley said 10 terrorists were to strike in the first attempt in September 2008, but the terrorists’ boat hit some rocks in the Arabian Sea, resulting in loss of weapons and ammunition, but those on board survived as they wore life jackets.
The second attempt came in October, with the same people involved as in the first, but that also failed for unknown reasons, before the third and successful attack was executed on 26 November that year, he said.
Headley provided details of his passport with an American name and spoke of his 7-8 trips to Mumbai and one to New Delhi between 2006 and 2008 before the 26/11 attacks.
The trips included seven via Pakistan and one via the UAE. He made yet another trip to Mumbai on March 7, 2009, after the terror attack was successfully executed.
Sajid Mir, his LeT handler who had advised him to change his name even in the passport, had told him to make general video shoots of various locations in Mumbai.
To a question by Nikam, Headley named one person — Raymond Sanders, a visa consultant, who helped him get an Indian visa in Chicago.
“With the exception of date of birth and nationality of mother, the place of birth, passport number, pretty much everything is incorrect,”Headley said of his attempts to get an Indian visa at Chicago, reports The Indian Express.
Earlier, Headley, 56, said he was born on June 30, 1960, in the US and shifted to Pakistan later where he changed his name to Daood Sayeed Gilani, which was appreciated by Hafiz Saeed and others in LeT.
Flanked by three people at an undisclosed location in the US — his attorney John, US attorney Sarah and a person identified merely as Bob — Headley was administered the oath at 7.30 a.m. and Special Public Prosecutor Nikam started firing questions at him.
“The evidence coming out today could be very significant,” said eminent lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani, who is helping out Headley’s attorneys in connection with the procedural issues pertaining to Indian laws.
Another LeT functionary, Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, who is now facing trial in the 26/11, appeared through video-conferencing from Arthur Road Central Jail, appeared irked by Headley’s revelations and was seen taking notes.
At a previous hearing on December 10 last year, the special TADA court judge had pardoned Headley and made him an approver in the case, subject to certain conditions.
Headley had already confessed to his role in the offences in the US for which he is seving a 35-year sentence.
The five-hour court proceedings — which will resume on Tuesday — were held here amidst tight security with over 100 policemen deployed in and around the Mumbai City Civil and Sessions Court.
With PTI & IANS
From the Indian point of view, the deposition of David Coleman Headley through a video link is the second best alternative available, next to bringing him to book on Indian soil.
The deposition could shed light on the 26/11 conspiracy and the role of various terror groups, and other crucial details of the terror strike at multiple locations which left 166 dead on 26 to 28 November, 2008.
Headley had already confessed to his role in the offences in the US for which he is serving a 35-year sentence.
Headley had pleaded guilty to the allegations against him in exchange for a very major concession-that he would not be extradited, as reported by Mumbai Mirror. With that option foreclosed, Indian officials hit upon the idea of making Headley an approver, the report states.
In a hearing on 10 December, a special judge had pardoned Headley and made him an approver in the case subject to certain conditions.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam has resorted to the measure-of turning to an insider to reveal intricate details of terror plots-on a number of occasions. Most notable among these were the 1993 serial blasts and the 2003 blasts at Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazar, both in Mumbai.
The measure has proved to be a particularly effective one, as terrorism conspiracies are naturally hatched in utmost secrecy, and direct evidence is very difficult to obtain in such cases.
This is more so as Headley has in the past implicated officers of Pakistan’s ISI in the conspiracy, as pointed out in this article in Scroll. Headley had reportedly named three officials — Col Haroon Shah, Major Samir Ali and Major Iqbal in a statement to the NIA in an American prison. With members of the Pakistan establishment also under the scanner apart from ‘non-state actors,’ the possibility of co-operation from India’s western neighbour decreases significantly. This makes the ongoing deposition even more important.
In his statement before a Mumbai court, Headley has also named Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, who has also been accused by India of being part of the 26/11 conspiracy, according to reports. While Pakistan has banned media coverage of the JuD, it has not banned the organisation per se, and continues to insist, despite international pressure, that the group is engaged in various social work activities and is not a terrorist organisation. Headley’s statements about Hafiz Saeed can put more pressure on Pakistan to crack down on the JuD.
However, the process of getting him to depose via video link was a complicated. According to the Mumbai Mirror report mentioned above, it started with a meeting between Nikam, the then Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria and Joint CP Atul Chandra Kulkarni. Subsequently, the idea was communicated to NSA Ajit Doval, who asked the Indian ambassador in the US to prepare the groundwork for the measure.
Later, Ujjwal Nikam along with a senior police officer made a ‘secret trip’ to the US in order to arrive at an agreement on the matter, The Indian Express reported in December last year. The decision to hold meeting with US officials was cleared by the home ministry, the report stated.
From the initial reports of David Headley’s deposition, it appears that the decision may be paying dividends. With Headley having nothing to lose, and India having everything to gain, it appears to be a win-win situation.
With inputs from IANS
India is likely to give Pakistan fresh evidence about the involvement of ISI officers in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack after Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley’s deposition before a Mumbai court today.India has given several dossiers to Pakistan incorporating evidence about the involvement of ISI officers, Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed, LeT commander Zaki-ur- Rehman Lakhvi besides others.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There have been no action against any one of them. Headley’s deposition before court again established that serving ISI officers, Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi were deeply involved in the conspiracy. We will provide all these fresh evidence to Pakistan for action,” a senior government official said.India is also expected to ask the United States to take action against Hafiz Saeed against whom a USD 10 million reward was announced for information leading to his capture, following Headley’s disclosure.”Headley’s deposition before the court has established that Hafiz Saeed was involved in the Mumbai terror attack. Headley is now in American custody, so the US must take cognisance of his statement and take action against Hafiz Saeed,” the official said.Among the 166 victims of the Mumbai terror attack, four were American nationals. Headley told the court through video conferencing that he was trained by LeT in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Abbottabad near Islamabad under the guidance of LeT founder “Hafiz Saeed sahab”, whose picture he identified in the court, as also its commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. He said that he was in touch with three officers of Pakistan’s ISI — Major Ali and Major Iqbal and Major Abdul Rehman Pasha.Headley told the court that he had changed his name from original Dawood Gilani after instructions from LeT commanders, including Lakhvi, and ISI officials to carry out recce in India for an attack, an “adventurous” task for him.Headley said he joined LeT after being “influenced” by its head Hafiz Saeed and took his first “course” with them in 2002 at Muzaffarabad. Headley is currently serving 35 years prison sentence in the US for his role in the terror attacks.
The 10 terrorists, who attacked Mumbai on November 26, 2008, had attempted to carry out the strike twice earlier but could not execute, Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley disclosed on Monday.Deposing before a court in Mumbai via a video-link from the US, the Pakistani-American said the attempts were made in September and October that year.”LeT operative Sajid Mir (Headley’s main contact man in LeT) told me that two earlier attempts to attack Mumbai had failed,” Headley told Special Judge GA Sanap during deposition that lasted nearly five-and-a-half-hours. He said the first attempt was made in September 2008 but it failed as the boat hit some rocks and the terrorists lost all the arms and ammunition into the sea.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The boat, which started from outside Karachi, disintegrated and people on it had their life jackets on and they came to the shore, while the second attempt was made a month later (in October),” Headley told the court.The same 10 terrorists of LeT were successful in attacking Mumbai the third time, said Headley, the LeT operative who is currently serving 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai attacks.Headley reportedly visited India many times between 2006 and 2008, drew maps, took video footage and scouted several targets for the attacks including the Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel and Nariman House. His recce provided vital information for the 10 LeT attackers and their handlers in the attack.The deposition of Headley, assumes significance as it may unravel the conspiracy behind the brazen terror strike, which left 166 dead and 309 injured. The court had on December 10, 2015, made Headley an approver in the case and directed him to depose before the court on February 8 (today). He had then told Special Judge GA Sanap that he was “ready to depose” if granted pardon.
In the wake of David Coleman Headley’s revelation that two attempts were made prior to the final attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan on Monday assured the nation that the sailors stay alert and awake so that the people can sleep peacefully.Meanwhile, Admiral (Retired) Suresh Mehta, who was then the chief of Naval Staff, said that various improvements were brought after the 2008 attack.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The coast line is very long so there are possibilities of entering. After that, we put up various improvements. They have all taken effect. There is a centralised control room now. Inputs from everywhere come there. Real time information is available in one place whether it is Police, Coast Guard or Navy or aircraft,” he said. “We have increased the surveillance on the coast. There are increased numbers of coastal police stations. And keeping all this in mind, I don?t think such an event must get repeated. There was no coordination problem in 2008,” he added.In a crucial deposition of Headley before the Mumbai court through video conference on Monday, he admitted that two prior failed attempts were made by the same 10 terrorists involved in 26/11 Mumbai attacks, who tried similar attempts in September and October 2008.Headley admitted changing his name from Dawood Gilani to David Headley to enter India and to conceal his identity. Headley visited India eight times before 26/11 attacks and once after the attack. Headley also admitted to giving false information in the visa application.In a vital revelation, Headley admitted to meeting Sajid Mir of LeT who was his main contact. Headley said that he changed his name in passport on instruction from Sajid Mir. Senior lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani told the media that his counsel Headley has told the special court that he acted on the advice of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed.Top Mumbai Police and NIA officials were present in the court alongside the US Embassy officials. Headley’s deposition will continue in the Mumbai court at 7 a.m. on Tuesday. It is for the first time in the Indian legal history that a foreign terrorist is providing his evidences through video link.
Mumbai: Pakistani-American LeT operative David Headley wanted to fight actively in Kashmir against the Indian Army but LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi stopped him, saying something more “adventurous” was in store for him. Giving details about the deposition of Headley which began at 7 am here.
Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told reporters here that the terrorist said he wanted to fight against the army deployed in Kashmir. However, Lahvi told Headley that they have something “more adventurous” for him. “He revealed a lot about Major Iqbal and Major Ali, both of them were there in ISI. It was Major Iqbal who trained him and he also unravelled names of few LeT trainers before the court,” Nikam said.
He said more important questions will be asked tomorrow and prosecution will try to reveal the truth. “I am absolutely satisfied with what Headley had revealed in today’s deposition. Headley has given certain sensational revelations during his deposition. He confirmed that he met Hafiz Saeed and he identified his picture as well,” he said. Nikam said Headley told the court that he joined LeT in 2002 and completed training course where learned to operate AK47, bomb explosion and execute reccee.
“He also joined a leadership course where both Sayeed and Lakhvi used to come and give speeches against India. He completed his education from Hasan Abdal Cadet College in Pakistan but left for America at the age of 17,” he said. Headley’s lawyer’s Mahesh Jethmalini said he has confessed that he had joined LeT after being influenced by Hafiz Saeed. He also told the court that there were two unsuccessful attempts to carry out terror attacks before the 26/11 attacks.
“But he has not explained the role of LeT in the attack. As a prosecutor, I am here to cooperate with the prosecution and help advance the case further and whatever be the findings of this deposition will be significant,” he said. Leading lawyer Majeed Memon said Headley’s deposition will help India unravel a lot of hidden facts behind the 26/11 attack and will make Pakistan talk about a lot of things which they have been denying so far.
Pakistani-American LeT operative David Headley wanted to fight actively in Kashmir against the Indian Army but LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi stopped him, saying something more ‘adventurous’ was in store for him.Giving details about the deposition of Headley which began at 7 AM here, Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told reporters that the terrorist said he wanted to fight against the army deployed in Kashmir.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, Lahvi told Headley that they have something “more adventurous” for him.”He revealed a lot about Major Iqbal and Major Ali, both of them were there in ISI. It was Major Iqbal who trained him and he also unravelled names of few LeT trainers before the court,” Nikam said.He said more important questions will be asked tomorrow and prosecution will try to reveal the truth.”I am absolutely satisfied with what Headley had revealed in today’s deposition. Headley has given certain sensational revelations during his deposition. He confirmed that he met Hafiz Saeed and he identified his picture as well,” he said.Nikam said Headley told the court that he joined LeT in 2002 and completed training course where learned to operate AK47, bomb explosion and execute reccee.”He also joined a leadership course where both Sayeed and Lakhvi used to come and give speeches against India. He completed his education from Hasan Abdal Cadet College in Pakistan but left for America at the age of 17,” he said.Headley’s lawyer’s Mahesh Jethmalini said he has confessed that he had joined LeT after being influenced by Hafiz Saeed.He also told the court that there were two unsuccessful attempts to carry out terror attacks before the 26/11 attacks.”But he has not explained the role of LeT in the attack.As a prosecutor, I am here to cooperate with the prosecution and help advance the case further and whatever be the findings of this deposition will be significant,” he said.Leading lawyer Majeed Memon said Headley’s deposition will help India unravel a lot of hidden facts behind the 26/11 attack and will make Pakistan talk about a lot of things which they have been denying so far.
Asserting that there is nothing new in what 26/11 accused David Coleman Headley had told special Mumbai court via video conferencing from US, former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief AS Dulat on Monday expressed doubt about whether Pakistan would accept Headley’s deposition as it was made under the influence of the American authorities.”His deposition is significant, but I don’t think he will be able to tell anything new. He will give out details, but his links with the ISI and that ISI and the LeT were collectively responsible for 26/11 is known to the world. He was not only an ISI agent, but a double agent,” Dulat told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Pakistan has heavy blinkers on this issue. They will say that these things won’t stand in a court of law. They will say that his (Headley) statements have been made under American laws, which are not applicable in Pakistan,” he added.
ALSO READ 26/11 Mumbai attack: All you need to know about Sajid Mir, the LeT contact of David HeadleyAlso read: Live | David Headley confirms ISI role in 26/11; tells court he was influenced by Hafeez SaeedHe, however, welcomed Headley’s decision to name the ISI openly.”It is good that he is now openly naming the ISI. The Americans have forced him to say it. What he is saying is the truth. Even our people have spoken with him,” he said.Headley, one of the main conspirators in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, deposed as a witness in the case and admitted that he had come to the city with a false identity at the behest of his colleague and handler Sajid Mir, a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative.Headley further admitted that he was a true follower of the LeT and had changed his name from Dawood Gilani to David Coleman Headley for the purpose of acquiring a new passport to come to India.He said he had visited Mumbai seven times prior to the attacks on November 26, 2008. He even visited Delhi in March 2009 after the attacks.During his deposition, he also named some Pakistan Army officials and the ISI officials.
Ujjwal Nikam, special public prosecutor in the 26/11 case, told reporters on Monday that David Coleman Headley made some ‘sensitive revelations’ related to the case.
Nikam also said that two unsuccessful attempts before the attack on 26 November were made in September 2008 and October 2008.
Speaking about the role of Headley in the terror attack, Nikam said that he worked with a smuggler to send weapons to India. He also said that Major Iqbal and Major Ali — accused of being the attackers’ handlers — were from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence( ISI).
“It is clear that there is a close nexus between the ISI and the Lashkar-e-Taiba, as per the revelations by Headley,” said the lawyer, adding, “I am absolutely satisfied with what David Headley has revealed in today’s deposition.”
Headley reportedly visited India many times between 2006 and 2008, drew maps, took video footage and scouted several targets for the attacks including the Taj Mahal Hotel, Trident Hotel and Nariman House.
His reconnaissance provided vital information for the 10 LeT terrorists and their handlers, who launched the attack.
In his deposition which began at 7.30 am, Headley said that he was a “true follower of LeT” and came to India eight times — seven before the terror attack on 26 November, 2008 and once after that.
Headley, who was made an approver in the 26/11 case, said that his main contact in the LeT was Sajid Mir, also an accused in the case.
With inputs from PTI
While deposing before a Mumbai court on Monday, 26/11 Mumbai attack accused David Headley said that his main contact person from the Lashkar-e-Toiba was Sajid Mir, also an accused on the case.All you need to know about Sajid Mir:-Sajid is a 38-year-old Pakistani national-He was one of the earliest members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and was the head of Lahore unit of the terror organisation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>-His last known location was recently tracked to Muridke in Pakistan. -Mir has several passports, including one which has a Christian name with the surname Masih. -He has travelled to Dubai, Oatar, Syria and had tried to set up a base in Thailand.-Mir has undergone plastic surgery but it did not alter his face to a large extent.-Mir was arrested in Dubai and was let go due to his LeT connections.-He is known to be secretive, meticulous with an eye for detail and has good understanding of computers and was called as a ‘competent handler’ by Headley.More details on David Headley’s deposition in Mumbai court and what he said about Mir here.
David Headley, a US man sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role in plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks, testifies in an Indian court.
Mumbai: Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist David Coleman Headley, who is now an approver in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case, started his deposition before a Special TADA Court via videoconferencing from a US jail, here at daybreak on Monday.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam is leading the prosecution case while well-known criminal lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani is representing Headley before Special TADA Court Judge G.A. Sanap at the five-hour proceedings.
Flanked by three persons — his attorney John, a US attorney Sarah and an unidentified person Bob — Headley was administered the oath at 7.30 am and Nikam started firing the questions at him.
Right at the start, he revealed that he was born on 30 June, 1960 in the US and shifted to Pakistan later where his name was Daood Sayeed Gilani.
Headley, 54, provided details of his passport and his seven-eight trips to Mumbai and one to New Delhi between 2006-2008 before the 26/11 attacks, including seven via Pakistan, one via UAE, and another trip to Mumbai in July 2009, after the terror attacks were executed.
Within a couple of hours, Nikam had posed around five dozen questions where Headley also revealed that most of the information on his visa application was false so that he would not blow his cover.
Admitting he was a LeT operative, Headley name one Sajid Mir as his main contact in the terror group.
“This is the first time that a terrorist is deposing and tendering evidence live in a foreign country. He will divulge the largers aspects of the 26/11 terror conspiracy, the people behind it and related aspects,” SPP Nikam said on the eve of the trial.
Headley’s ongoing evidence could help the prosecution nail the alleged co-conspirators in the attacks Zakiur Rehman Lakshi, the terrorists’ handlers, the role and involvement of other state and non-state actors, the role of another arrested LeT activist Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, currently in a Mumbai jail.
At the previous hearing on December 10 last year, a special judge had pardoned Headley and made him an approver in the case subject to certain conditions.
Headley, a man with American-Pakistani origins, was asked by Judge Sanap to disclose all information pertaining to the 26/11 case which he had earlier shared with the US courts.
This could shed light on the 26/11 conspiracy and the role of various terror groups, and other crucial details of the terror strike at multiple locations which left 166 dead on 26 to 28 November, 2008.
Headley had already confessed to his role in the offences in the US for which he is seving a 35-year sentence.