New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) Three years after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, India is likely to seek extradition from the US and Pakistan of nine accused, including David Headley, who has entered into a plea bargain with America under which he cannot be deported to any country.
Despite the plea bargain, India will send a request to the US for the extradition of Pakistani-American Headley and his accomplice Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Rana, government sources said Monday.
The two are accused of having plotted the 2008 Mumbai attack for the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), whose chief Hafiz Saeed is also among the accused.
The sources said that a request will also be sent to Pakistan for the extradition of seven accused, including two men believed to be working for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
These include Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Al Qaeda operative Illyas Kashmiri who India says are involved in the Mumbai attack and other terror strikes in India.
The move comes after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) last month filed charges against the nine accused for their role in the carnage. Former Pakistan Army officer Rehman Hashmi, Major Iqbal and Major Samir — believed to be working for Pakistan’s spy agency ISI — were also named in the NIA charge sheet.
They have been charged with waging war against India.
Lakhvi is in a Pakistani jail undergoing trial for the terror attack that killed 166 people, including foreigners, when a band of 10 Pakistani terrorists sneaked into Mumbai Nov 26, 2008, and went on a rampage. Over 300 innocent people were also injured.
India and Pakistan have not signed any extradition treaty and it is unlikely that the accused will be deported.
But the government is hopeful that Pakistani courts will treat the request as a “special case” because the accused are involved “in one of the gravest crime in the world”, said the sources.
Headley, who is undergoing trial in a US court, has confessed to his role in the attack but has entered into a plea bargain with the American judicial authorities under which he cannot be extradited to any country, including India.
But the government here is still hoping to get Headley and Rana who is also undergoing a trial in the US for a planned terror attack in Denmark.
Rana has been acquitted for his alleged role in the Mumbai attack.