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Rahul Bhatt quizzed by NIA officials

December 16, 2009 18:14 IST

Rahul Bhatt, son of Bollywood film director Mahesh Bhatt, was questioned by investigators to probe his association with suspected Lashkar terrorist David Headley during the Pakistani-American terror suspect's stay in Mumbai.

Rahul was called by the officials of National Investigation Agency twice for detailed questioning on Headley and what was the basis on which he found him to be an undercover sleuth of US spy agency Central Intelligence Agency, official sources said. During questioning by the NIA officials, Rahul said Headley had been often talking about commando training and skills, clearing obstacles.

Headley had also boasted about his swift responses to any situation, the sources said. Bhatt was also asked about the places he visited along with Headley and the nature of his conversation he had with the terror suspect, the sources said.

A formal statement of Rahul was, however, yet to be recorded and would be done so once other things fell in place, the sources added.

Rahul's father Mahesh Bhatt told PTI that he had been called by the NIA officials to understand the basis of his claim that Headley was a CIA agent.

Mahesh has been maintaining that his son had done a duty what every citizen is expected to do, but voiced his displeasure over some reports, which had projected his son in a bad light.

The NIA, which was set up in the aftermath of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, has registered a case against Headley and his accomplice and suspected Lashkar operative Tahawwur Rana.

Headley and Rana, a Pakistani-Canadian national, were booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and for conspiring to wage a war against the country.

The NIA had earlier recorded the statement of Vilas Warack, a gym instructor who met Headley along with Rahul.

Warack, who worked as an instructor at the high-profile Moksh gym frequented by Headley, was asked about locations the American visited and names of persons whom he met there.

He has told the investigators that he had introduced Headley to Rahul.

Warack claims that his sincerity cost him the job, as he had voluntarily gone to Joint Commissioner Rakesh Maria and narrated everything he knew about Headley.

The gym owner denied that Warack had been sacked and said he can resume his duties. The gym instructor said he had met Headley at the centre and the US national asked him to be his fitness trainer and got friendly in the process.

Later, when he introduced Headley to Rahul, all three became friends and attended a number of high-profile parties in the tinsel town.

The gym instructor said that when he came to know about the terror links of Headley on television, he immediately approached the police and gave details of his relations with the terror suspect.
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