M A I N   N E W S

Headley’s Disclosures
Pak should act now: India
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
New Delhi feels it’s time for Islamabad to act on the irrefutable evidence available about the involvement of the ISI in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks after David Coleman Headley nailed Pakistan’s notorious spy agency in a Chicago court.

Official sources said Headley’s disclosures were part of an exchange of information between Indian and US intelligence and security agencies. “The cooperation that we have had with the US authorities in the past few years in counter-terrorism has been very helpful for both countries,” they added.

In fact, at the time of moving for plea bargaining, Headley had revealed the ISI’s link with the attacks to the US agencies, particularly the FBI. The FBI, in turn, shared that information with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other Indian agencies.

The NIA team, which was given access to Headley last year, was told about the disclosures made by him, particularly about ISI links and his meetings with Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed. The NIA team was also briefed about ISI protection to the Hizbul Mujahideen, the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed.

However, as part of a strategy, the NIA and the FBI kept the information under wraps as it was felt that the disclosures would hamper investigations. The agencies waited for these issues to come up during the trial.

The FBI had also assured the NIA that Headley’s disclosures in the court would help them exert more pressure on the ISI and the Pakistan government.

India and the US are also expected to discuss Headley’s confessions when they launch the Homeland Security Dialogue here on Friday. US Secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Home Minister P Chidambaram are scheduled to launch the dialogue that is expected to increase communication and information-sharing between the two countries on counter-terrorism and other issues affecting the security of the two nations.

Napolitano will also visit Mumbai to place a wreath at the Police Memorial to pay tributes to those killed in the Mumbai attacks. 




ITBP sends Rs 11-cr bill for Kasab’s security

US Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, lays a wreath at the memorial of martyrs of 26/11 attacks at Police Gymkhana in Mumbai on Tuesday.
US Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, lays a wreath at the memorial of martyrs of 26/11 attacks at Police Gymkhana in Mumbai on Tuesday. — PTI

Mumbai, May 24
A staggering Rs 11 crore has been spent on guarding 26/11 terror convict Ajmal Kasab and the security force protecting him wants it back.

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force has slapped a bill of Rs 10.87 crore on the Maharashtra Government for guarding Kasab at the Arthur Road jail and sought its reimbursement which has stunned the state.

RK Bhatia, Director-General of the ITBP, whose 200 commandos provide 24-hour security to Kasab, has raised the bill received for reimbursement of expenses incurred between March 28, 2009, and September 30, 2010.

Medha Gadgil, Maharashtra’s Principal Home Secretary, said the state government would be writing to the ITBP explaining their position that it was not just state government’s burden. “We are in the process of writing to them. We will explain that 26/11 terror attacks is not only an issue limited to Maharashtra but a national issue,” she said.

“What Kasab and his associates did is an attack not only on Mumbai but an attack on India and it is unfair to ask the state government to bear the burden (for ITBP guarding Kasab),” another senior Home department official said.

The ITPB was deployed in the jail where a Special Court held conducted trial of Kasab, the lone Pakistani gunman who was arrested on the night of 26/11.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today said he would discuss the ITBP bill issue with Home Minister RR Patil. “I will talk to the Home Minister on this issue and don’t want to speak about it further,” Chavan told reporters, declining to comment further. — PTI 





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