New Delhi: India will not get fresh access to Mumbai terror attack mastermind David Headley, who is currently in American jail, for questioning, the US indicated on Monday.
This was conveyed to India during the Indo-US strategic dialogue held here today for which Secretary of State John Kerry is here. India had persistently asked the US to give access to Headley for a second time to get more information about the November 2008 audacious attack.
The US interlocutors have cited Headley's plea bargain with the American authorities (under which a person avoids death penalty by confessing to the crime) and indicated its difficulty in allowing Indian investigators to further question him. Headley, who had carried out the recce of the 26/11 targets for the Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, had also opposed further interrogation by Indian investigators, official sources said. Indian investigators had questioned Headley in 2010. However, India may be allowed to question Headley's accomplice Tahawwur Hussain Rana who helped his childhood friend to recce the 26/11 targets.
Indian investigators believe that if they could quiz Pakistani-Canadian Rana, many information could come to light as he was a close associate of his Pakistani-American friend Headley. The investigators believe that Headley and Rana have a lot of information and their interrogations could throw more light on the conspiracy hatched to carry out the worst terror strike in India and role of those behind it.
Headley had pleaded guilty to 12 terrorism charges, including his involvement in the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that claimed 166 lives. He had, however, entered into plea bargain with US authorities.