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No clean chit yet for Rahul Bhatt: Sources

By Rediff Entertainment Bureau
Last updated on: November 13, 2009 16:42 IST
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No clean chit has been given to film producer Mahesh Bhatt's son Rahul, whose name has cropped up in investigations relating to terror suspect David Headley, arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for possible links with Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

"No one has been given clean chit," a top government source said when asked about reports from Mumbai that Rahul Bhatt has been cleared by the investigators of any wrong doing following reports that he had met Headley on some occasions.

Earlier reports from Mumbai quoted Rahul's brother and Bollywood producer, Mukesh as saying that the intelligence agencies had given Rahul a "clean chit".

"What I gather is whatever they have spoken, the intelligence people have given him a clean chit absolutely because there is nothing beyond it," Mukesh said.

Asked about reports that Rahul is being questioned by the FBI, Mukesh said, "No, I don't think so at all, he was not questioned. He told them whatever he knew. He just happened to bump into this character (Headley) in a gym just like anybody can bump into anybody."

Director-producer Mahesh Bhatt refused to comment on the reported links between his son Rahul and Headley, but said the onus is on the investigating agencies to provide an answer on the issue.

According to the Mumbai Mirror newspaper, Pakistan-born United States citizen Headley's 'Rahul' was apparently Rahul Bhatt, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt's only son.

Headley, who was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Chicago last month, is said to have told his interrorgators that he met Rahul Bhatt during one of his trips to Mumbai.

"I think the onus is on the national security agencies to answer this pointed question (about Rahul). I feel as a responsible citizen, I should not indulge in a game of trivialising such a serious issue," Mahesh Bhatt said.

"It is an issue which is very serious. It concerns not only my security and the security of my family but the security of the nation. The agencies are there to answer these queries. It is not right for me to indulge in small talk about matters like these," he said.

Headley -- who was born Daood Gilani -- befriended Rahul at a gymnasium near Breach Candy in south Mumbai, according to the Mirror report -- and told him he was searching for a flat in Mumbai. Earlier reports mentioned that Headley stayed at a friend's mother's home in Breach Candy during trips to Mumbai.

The FBI found Rahul's name mentioned in Headley's e-mails; he had informed his Lashkar minders in Pakistan that Rahul was a Bollywood star and could be a likely target.

With inputs from PTI

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