Govt To Probe Grant Of Visa To Rana

Government on Tuesday said it will look into reports suggesting that Indian Consul General in Chicago had granted visas to terror suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana without Home Ministry's clearance. "All these issues are going to be
govt to probe grant of visa to rana - India TV
PTI November 18, 2009 9:27 IST

Government on Tuesday said it will look into reports suggesting that Indian Consul General in Chicago had granted visas to terror suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana without Home Ministry's clearance.

"All these issues are going to be looked into very carefully from the point of view of security angle and perhaps in the days to come, you might see more on this," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told reporters on the sidelines of a FICCI event in Delhi. 

The Minister was answering a query if the government was planning to probe the security lapse in view of granting of visa to US citizen David Headley and Rana by the Indian Consul General in Chicago and Rana's visit to various Indian cities.

Copies of visas issued to Pakistani-Canadian Rana and a woman Samraz Rana Akhthar, who he claimed to be his wife, show that both were issued multiple-entry visas under the discretion of the Consul General in Chicago.

This was done in apparent violation of rules under which clearance of Ministry of Home Affairs is required for issuing visa to any person born in Pakistan. Both Rana and the woman are born in the Punjab province of Pakistan.

Rana and Headley have been arrested on terror charges by the FBI last month for their linkages with Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba.   

American terror suspect David Headley, his Canadian associate Tahawwur Hussain Rana and 26/11 Mumbai attack perpetrators had the same handlers in Pakistan, in a fresh pointer to the links between the duo and the incident.

Investigations indicate Headley and Rana were part of a larger conspiracy behind last year's mayhem in the country's financial capital, a top government source said today.

"Evidence is slowly getting established that Headley and Rana were part of the larger conspiracy behind the Mumbai attack. They were in touch with same people who were giving directions to (Azmal Amir) Kasab (the lone surviving terrorist in Mumbai attack) and other terrorists," the source said.

Indian investigators have asked FBI, which arrested Headley and Rana for plotting terror attack in the US and India, for the voice sample of Headley and Rana so that it could be compared with the sample available here.

Sources said filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt's son Rahul was not a terror suspect but efforts were on to ascertain if he had unwittingly helped Headley.

There is definite information that Headley and Rana had stayed in Pakistan during last year's Mumbai attack and left that country in the first week of December 2008, the source said.

Following the leads, investigators are questioning a lot of local contacts in all the places which Headley and Rana had visited during their stay in India between 2006 and 2009. "However, there is no prominent person whom he had contacted," he said.

Besides, a large number of people -- more than 100 -- had contacted Rana after he issued advertisements in newspapers offering immigration services.

"We don't know how many had availed of the facility and how many of them had gone abroad. We are verifying all such details," the source said.

During their stay in India, Headley and Rana mostly had used international credit cards for their financial dealings besides receiving money from abroad through Western Union Money Transfer.

Asked about the woman who had accompanied Headley in Mumbai and other places, the source said she was not his wife. "But Rana has a wife," he said.

On reports of an official of Pakistan Consulate in Mumbai handing over a satellite telephone to Headley, the source said there was no proof of that.

He also dismissed reports of Rahul Bhatt introducing three Bollywood actresses to Headley as mere speculation. PTI


 
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