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Govt justifies issuance of visa to Headley

December 19, 2009 22:40 IST
Government on Saturday justified issuance of visa to arrested terror suspect and Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative David Coleman Headley as he was an American citizen but said it needs to be ascertained what he did after coming to India.

"He (Headley) is an American citizen born in Washington, DC. It would have been unusual for us to deny him a visa. So he got a visa," Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor told mediapersons in New Delhi explaining why Headley was given visa.

Headley, who is an American of Pakistani-origin, was been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Chicago and charged with conspiracy in Mumbai attacks.

The American and Indian investigators are now trying to find out details of his operations.

"We know he came here but what we need to know is much more about what he did and what the consequences were for the well-being of Indians," Tharoor said.

On the confusion over the status of visa papers of Headley as it was believed to have been lost by the Chicago Consulate, he said every Consulate gets thousands of applications and 'if they were all kept handy in the consulates, there would be no place for anyone to do any work. So, they are naturally archived and it takes time to dig through thousands of them to find a particular application.'

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