Home > India > Rana visa papers found, Headley’s being traced: India

Rana visa papers found, Headley’s being traced: India

December 17, 2009

The government Thursday said the visa papers of Tahawwur Rana, one of two Mumbai conspirators now in US custody, have been found and those of David Coleman Headley are being traced.

The government added that all “relevant information” in this regard was being shared with the investigating agencies.

Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor told reporters in parliament complex that the visa application papers of Rana, the Pakistan-born Canadian, given to the Indian consulate in Chicago had been found.

“Rana’s papers have been found and Headley’s are being traced,” Tharoor said.

Also in New Delhi, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said: “It would not be accurate to conclude that these visa applications are missing. All relevant information in this regard is being shared with the investigating agencies.”

The spokesperson added that the visas were issued to these two men July 18, 2007 and March 3, 2006 respectively. A one year business visa was also issued to Rana Oct 31, 2008.

The government’s clarification came amid demands by opposition members in parliament asking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to clarify matters over the US role in unravelling the alleged involvement of Headley, an American of Pakistani origin, in the 26/11 Mumbai terror carnage.

According to some media reports, visa papers of both men were missing from the Indian consulate.

Headley and Rana made several trips between 2006 to 2008 to various Indian cities and allegedly helped the Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan to plan the 26/11 attack.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said the government had sought a report from the Chicago consulate over the alleged disappearance of Headley’s visa papers.

“We have asked for a preliminary report from the consulate general in Chicago. After I get the report, we will see how we can proceed with it,” Krishna told reporters here.

“I would not prejudge anything that has appeared in the media but certainly the government is aware of its responsibilities and we will discharge them,” he said.

Asked about India seeking Headley’s extradition, Krishna said: “The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been cooperating with the Indian intelligence agencies. As and when the FBI completes its inquiry and investigation, we certainly will be able to get the outcome of that. Later on we will decided how to proceed.”

A senior official of the Indian Consulate in Chicago was quoted in some Indian TV networks as saying that the papers related to Headley and Rana had not gone missing and the “relevant information” in this regard was available with the Indian government.

The Headley-Rana issue surfaced during zero hour in the Rajya Sabha, with the Left and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) making common cause.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) member Brinda Karat said: “This is an issue that concerns all Indian citizens. I would request the prime minister for a clarification on what we are doing to take up the issue with the US.

“Yesterday, the foreign secretary gave a clean chit to the consulate, while the home ministry expressed its concern (on the missing papers). Are there any differences on this between the ministries of external affairs and home?” Karat asked.

“Whether he is a (US) agent or double agent, what is the extent of cooperation we are receiving from the US?” asked BJP leader Arun Jaitley.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao had said Wednesday that it would be “unprofessional” to comment on speculation that Headley was a double agent as the matter was under investigation.

Categories: India
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