26/11 Mumbai attacks: Victims seek 688 million dollars from Pak-based Lashkar-e-Taiba

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 26/11 attacks: Victims seek $688 mn
Washington, Nov 11: Nine American and Israeli victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks have demanded a compensation of USD 688 million from the Pakistan-based perpetrators of the terror assault, including JuD chief Hafiz Saeed.

In a re-submission before a New York court on October 30 and 31, the nine victims of the Mumbai attacks –- from the US and Israel –- argued for a "trial by jury" and "default judgement" against Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD)/Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). They also argued for a "trial by jury" and "default judgement" against JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Sajid Majid, Azam Cheema and two other Pakistani nationals Major Iqbal and Major Sameer Ali.

[Read: India upset over Pakistan's decision on 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed]

According to their attorney, the request for "trial by jury", "default judgement" and a "USD 688 million compensation" was filed before the Eastern District Court of New York after November 1, 2013, court summons were duly served to JuD/LeT and other defendants in Pakistan to which they did not respond.

Who wants compensation?

The compensation have been sought by the family members of seven persons who were brutally killed by LeT terrorists and two others who were injured.

The 26/11 American and Israeli victims had first filed their case on November 19, 2010. They had also sought action against ISI and its chief, but the court ruled that out after the US State Department told the court that they enjoyed diplomatic immunity as they were a part of a foreign government.

[Read: Phone hacking scheme used to finance Mumbai attack]

According to court papers, LeT, its leaders and other defendants were served with court summons and complaints. But they have failed to answer or otherwise defend against this action, alleged the attorney on behalf of the 26/11 victims including Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg, father of Rifka Holtzberg who was murdered alongside her husband Rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg during the attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai.

Among others include Rabbi Nachman Holtzberg, father of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg who was killed in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Other plaintiffs are Moses Shvarzblat and Maribeth Jeswani on behalf of family members killed in the attacks. Andreina Varagona, who survived after getting shot in her right arm and leg in the attack, sued on her own behalf.

[Read: Looking back at the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008]

As many as 166 people died and more than 300 were injured when 10 LeT terrorists carried out the attack on multiple locations in Mumbai, including the Oberoi Trident Hotel, the Taj Mahal Hotel, the Leopold Cafe, the Cama and Albless Hospital, the Metro Cinema, the CST Railway Station and the Chabad House.

In June, the US added LeT affiliates, including the JuD, to its list of designated terror organisations.

PTI

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