Give us Rana and Headley: India asks the US once again

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The United States has assured India that it would look into its request to question David Headley and Tawwahur Rana. While India has questioned Headley once in the past, it has not been able to access Rana yet. India feels that the investigations into the Mumbai 26/11 attack will not be conclusive unless Rana is questioned.

David Headley and Tawwahur Rana

Rana is accused of helping Headley with travel papers for his various visits to India where he carried out a reconnaissance for the 26/11 attacks. The issue was raised with Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation during his recent visit to India.

The NIA raised the issue with McCabe and said that several requests to question Rana and Headley have gone unanswered. The NIA also sought for the extradition of both. In Rana's case, the National Investigation Agency was told that he was already convicted by a court in the US for providing material support to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. It would amount to double jeopardy if he is tried again in India, the US had said.

The NIA, however, pointed out that in India he has been charged with forgery and criminal breach of trust. "Hence trying him for those offences would not amount to double jeopardy," the NIA officials pointed out.

The chances of extraditing both the operativesares however slim. Headly has entered into a plea bargain deal with the US. This protects him from extradition and also a death sentence. In Rana's case, the US courts have already convicted him and in normal course such extradition requests are not entertained.

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