NEW DELHI: The government has given its sanction to charge sheet nine people including Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley, LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and two ISI officers for plotting terror attacks in India including the 26/11 strikes.
Besides Headley and Saeed, the Union home ministry gave sanction to National Investigation Agency to prosecute 26/11 attacks mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Headley’s accomplice and Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Rana and Al-Qaeda operative Illyas Kashmiri, official sources said here.
Sajid Malik, handler of Headley, and Abdul Rehman Hashmi will also be named in the charge-sheet besides two officers Major Iqbal and Major Samir Ali, believed to be working for Pakistan’s snooping agency, the sources said.
The sanction of prosecution against the nine was accorded after a legal opinion of the law ministry was obtained.
They will be named in the charge-sheet for waging war against the country under the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The NIA had registered a case against 50-year-old Headley and Rana on November 12, 2009 and later on added other names after investigation by central security agencies showed a large set of people involved in terror activities against the country.
Both Headley and Rana are at present in custody of US authorities and NIA has only got a limited access to Headley, who had entered into plea bargain with US authorities to escape harsh sentence.
Rana (50) was found guilty by the US court of terror activities in Denmark but absolved of his role in the 26/11 strikes in Mumbai.
The NIA, while registering a case against Rana and Headley under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and for conspiring to wage war against the country, had alleged that Headley had visited India “several times before 26/11 and once after” the Mumbai terror strikes, which left 166 people dead.