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'Headley-Rana revelations won't hit 26/11 trial'

By Sheela Bhatt
November 23, 2009 20:36 IST
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A senior source in Mumbai police aggressively argued that revelations in the David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana case by newly-formed National Investigation Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation of US is not going to affect the 26/11 case which is being heard in the special court set up at the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai.

While talking off-the-record to, a senior police officer said, "If there is any need we will file a supplementary charge-sheet in the 26/11 case."

The perception is growing in the country that investigation into 26/11 case is lacking in credibility or is at least inconclusive in view of the latest revelations by FBI.

Pakistan-born American citizen Headley and Canadian citizen Rana were arrested by the FBI in Chicago last month. It is alleged that the duo belong to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, the Pakistan-based outfit blamed for masterminding the 26/11 attacks. Both stayed in India and had travel across the country. Headley stayed in Mumbai and is supposed to have filmed the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station and both hotels (the Taj and Trident) the terrorists attacked.

The major issue getting scrutiny now is whether Rana and Headley made videos and maps of the Taj, Trident and other targets in Mumbai and why the Mumbai police have applied similar charges on Fahim Ansari and Sabahudin Ahmed? Were they linked or part of the same operation?

In a smartly worded argument, a senior cop of the Mumbai police said that, "The 26/11 charge-sheet never mentioned that Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed made any video. We have always maintained that they (Ansari and Ahmed) made maps of the targets in Mumbai. They were also shown Google maps. We knew that someone else has made the video but since these investigations required help from Pakistan we could not move much in that direction."

The cop said, "Remember we have given Pakistan a list of 35 wanted people and any deeper investigation will require us to interrogate these people who are supposed to be in Pakistan."

The Mumbai police has claimed in the charge-sheet that on 26/11 when Ismail Khan was shot down, police found a map of CST. The drawings and other details of map have been found exactly similar to one found from Fahim Ansari after the terror attacks in Rampur in Uttar Pradesh.

The forensic reports of both maps have linked Ansari with the 26/11 case. The cop argues, "We have solid evidence against Ansari and Sabahudin and irrespective of Headley and Rana's involvement our case will stand on its merit. We are not surprised by revelations because we were aware that further investigations are needed in Pakistan."

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Sheela Bhatt in Mumbai