Narendra Modi : Rana verdict disgraced India's sovereignty

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Narendra Modi
New Delhi, Jun 10: Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat has criticised a US Federal court's decision to acquit Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Pakistani-Canadian in connection with the Mumbai terror attacks.

a Pakistani-Canadian, was a co-accused in the Mumbai terror attacks together with David Coleman Headley and was undergoing trial in a US Federal Court in Chicago.

Modi on Jun 10 tweeted, "US declaring Tahawwur Rana innocent in Mumbai attack has disgraced the sovereignty of India & it is a 'major foreign policy setback," and asked, "Will US let the Indian court take a trial of 9/11 terrorist attack case?"

The Gujarat Chief Minister has even gone ahead to suggest that the US acquitted Rana only to please Pakistan.

He tweeted, "Just to please Pakistan, US has unlocked the ways for all the 26/11 'Mumbai attack' terrorists to be free of guilt."

Meanwhile, the Government of India has clarified that Rana's acquittal isn't a setback to India. U K Bansal, Secretary Internal Security in the Ministry of Home Affairs has said, "India does not rely overtly on prosecution of terror suspects in other countries. I do not see it as a setback as our case (India) is still under investigation."

He added, "Prosecution in India against Rana and his co-accused David Headley depends on our own investigations which is being done by Indian investigating agencies. In our handling of terrorism in India, we do not rely overtly on prosecution in other countries. We have to rely on our own strength."

After much deliberations Rana, on Jun 9 was acquitted on charges of abetting the Mumbai attacks. But he was convicted for providing material support to the terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and help carry out a terror plot in Denmark.

Rana will face a maximum sentence of 30 years in jail on the two charges on which he was convicted and will remain in Federal custody without bond, according to a statement released by the US Justice Department. The sentencing date was however not set.

The verdict was delivered by the US District Judge Harry D Leinenweber. Randall Samborn, the Justice Department spokesman commented, “A Federal Court jury has convicted defendant Rana on one count of conspiracy to provide material support to the Denmark terrorism plot and one count of providing material support to LeT, and not guilty of conspiracy to provide material support to the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008."

The Justice Department further revealed in its statement, “The defendant, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, was found guilty by a Federal jury that deliberated two days following a trial that began May 16 in US District Court. The jury acquitted Rana of conspiracy to provide material support to the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 160 people, including six Americans."

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