M A I N   N E W S

Consulate told to explain missing Headley papers
Would like to question terror duo at some stage, says India
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

Rana denied bail

Chicago: Pakistan-born Canadian Tahawwur Rana, accused of plotting terror attacks in India and Denmark, was on Wednesday denied bail by a US court which said if released he may flee the country to avoid a possible 30-year jail term. Dismissing the bail plea, US Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan at Federal court here said with Rana's expertise in immigration business, there is a risk that he can leave the US as his possible incarceration "could give him a motive to flee". — PTI

New Delhi, December 16
Perturbed over reports that visa papers of terror suspects David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Rana had gone missing from the Indian Consulate in Chicago, the government today said it had sought full facts about the development from its Consul General there.

“I have sought a factual report from our Consul General in Chicago,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said while briefing the media on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s two-day visit to Copenhagen from tomorrow for the UN Summit on Climate Change.

The two terror suspects, who have been accused by the US authorities of being part of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack conspiracy, visited India several times between 2006 and 2008 and carried out reconnaissance missions in various Indian cities for launching terrorist strikes. They allegedly used Rana’s immigration agency as a cover to travel to different cities.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing the visa application process as part of its investigation into the role of the duo in the Mumbai attacks. The Foreign Secretary also said at some point of time India would like to have access to both Headley and Rana for interrogation following incriminating evidence about their involvement in the Mumbai carnage.

On reports that Headley could have been a “double agent” for American agencies and Pakistan-based outfits, she said she was not in a position to either confirm or deny it as the investigations were on. “These are issues involving national security and activities of individuals detrimental to our national interest. These issues can’t be discussed through media. It will not be in our interest to do so,” Nirupama said.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said India was awaiting further information from the US with regard to the probe against Headley and Rana.



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