Son silent on terror suspect Headley in national interest: Bhatt

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Mumbai, Nov.14 (ANI): Bollywood filmmaker and social activist Mahesh Bhatt has claimed that his son Rahul remained silent on his association with US terror suspect David Coleman Headley only in the nation's interest.

He said Rahul would reveal details about the association only if the authorities gave him the green signal.

Rahul Bhatt, 25, is a fitness instructor and a body builder.

Mahesh Bhatt said Rahul was keeping quiet as he was yet to receive any go ahead from the authorities concerned, and as the matter was vital in national interest.

"I said that only Rahul can answer these questions or the authorities who are investigating these questions can give you the answers and Rahul will give you the answers when he is given green signal to speak and he does not want to play hide and seek. His silence is in national interest because the information which he has can be important for the security of the country," Mahesh Bhatt told reporters here on Friday.

Media reports said it was Rahul who helped Headley rent a flat near the Breach Candy hospital and that the two met at a gym where Rahul had come to lose weight and get fit.

Headley, a US citizen of Pakistani origin, had told FBI interrogators that Rahul was a prominent Indian actor.

Headley had been arrested on the information that he was planning terror attacks in Denmark and India.

The two men became friends and when Headley expressed that he was looking to rent a flat, Rahul even helped him get one near Breach Candy through a property broker. Investigators are saying that Rahul was not aware that Headley had Lashkar links.

Mahesh Bhatt also implored reporters not to "trivialise" the issue, saying, "the seriousness is immense."

"This is an issue concerning the national security, for God sake don't trivialise it or water it down, the seriousness is immense," he said.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had registered a case against Headley and Pakistani-born Canadian citizen Tahawwur Hussein Rana in connection with the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

India says the conspiracy of the Mumbai attack was hatched in Pakistan. Pakistan has acknowledged that the attack was plotted and partly launched from its soil and has been holding a trial of seven suspects.

Headley, a U.S. citizen who changed his name from Dawood Gilani in 2006 and resides primarily in Chicago, was arrested on October 3, 2009, by the Chicago FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) at O'Hare International Airport before boarding a flight to Philadelphia, intending to travel on to Pakistan.

He was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts involving murder and maiming outside the United States and one count of conspiracy to provide material support to that overseas terrorism conspiracy. (ANI)

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