The United States has assured India that it would look into its request to question David Headley and Tawwahur Rana. While India has questioned Headley once in the past, it has not been able to access Rana yet. India feels that the investigations into the Mumbai 26/11 attack will not be conclusive unless Rana is questioned.
New Delhi, Apr 18: India has sent an extradition request to the United States of America to have Dr Tawwahur Rana, an accomplice of David Headley extradited.
In the month of May 11, 2011, the National Investigating Agency had prepared a detailed questionnaire for Tawwahur Rana. Well that questionnaire still does exist, but the only point is that the NIA has not managed to question Rana as yet. Rana apart from being a friend of David Headley’s was formerly a doctor in the Pakistan army before leaving for the United States of America.
Mumbai, Feb 8: David Headley who is now testifying before a court in Mumbai through video conferencing from the United States of America was a key player in the 26/11 attack.
It is very difficult to conduct a reconnaissance of city like Mumbai unlike there is someone locally to help out. Whether India did not know about this local link or chose not to probe it is a subject matter of debate.
The government of India very often says that it is working on getting access to David Headley. While even a child on the street would say that this is not possible, it would be interesting to note how the government handled the entire issue and the files to this effect would show that it was far from satisfactory.
The very fact that the Headley case was bifurcated from the original 26/11 case which was being fought by the Maharashtra government itself was surprising. While on one hand the Crime Branch of Bombay was struggling with details of the case, the union government did not make their job any easier. The prosecutor in the 26/11 case which was primarily against Ajmal Kasab had sought for details on David Headley the moment that angle to this incident cropped up. The intention of the prosecutor Ujwal Nikam was to add the Headley angle to the case as it was the same case and had to be tried before the same court. However the then Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram had refused to share any information on the ground that Nikam was not a government prosecutor. In fact the government said that he was a private lawyer hired by the Maharashtra government for the trial.
India has clearly not done enough to push for the interrogation or extradition of Tawwahur without whose help, David Headley would not have never been able to carry out his operation in India. The man we are talking about is Bashir and in the words of David Headley himself he is the man who he was with from the time he landed in the Bombay airport for the first time on September 14th 2006.
Bashir a Bombay based operative was never pursued by any investigating agency and all through the investigation of the case, he appeared to have a free run before making a final exit to Canada. Bashir was with Headley between September 14th 2006 and December 14th 2006. The very same Bashir was with Headley when he returned to India in 2008 and 2009 too.
The world witnessed the city of Bombay being controlled for over 48 hours by a set of ten Lashar-e-Tayiba terrorists. The 26/11 attack which claimed over 160 lives will be something that India and the rest of the world will never come to terms with. What followed after 26/11 were allegations and counter allegations with Pakistan. However what is most prominent is the extremely shoddy probe by the crime branch led by Rakesh Maria and possibly every agency across the world has ridiculed this probe terming it as hurried and childish. Fragile Frontiers: The Secret History of Mumbai Terror Attacks is probably one of the most well written books which explores every bit of the attack, prior to it and after it. Written by Saroj Kumar Rath who is an Assistant Professor of History at the Sri Aurobindo College (Eve), University of Delhi, the book provides facts about the attack and more importantly how shoddy the probe was. Rath speaks about a mysterious Basheer who received David Headley in India before he went about surveying the targets that were attacked. In this interview with rediff.com, Rath says that the entire attack was planned and executed in a bid to keep the militants in Pakistan especially the Lashkar united.