The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday asked the Manmohan Singh government to assert the country's right to question David Headley, a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative and suspect in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

“What is surprising in it? We already said our relations with the U.S. are unequal. Our government will not assert the elementary rights which we should have — that is independent direct access to Headley,” CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said here. He was replying to a question on the U.S decision against giving India access to the LeT operative.

Speaking separately, CPI(M) Parliamentary Party leader Sitaram Yechury said it was increasingly becoming clear that New Delhi-Washington relations were unequal. He questioned the government's talk of having strategic relations with the U.S. “What is the meaning of it?”

On the contrary, India had given American authorities complete access to question Ajmal Kasab, lone surviving gunman in the Mumbai attack. India also gave access on terrorism-related issues, and the U.S. not allowing India similar access was not acceptable, Mr. Yechury said.

The CPI(M) leaders' comments came in the backdrop of Ambassador Timothy J Roemer saying the U.S. had taken no decision to provide Indian investigators direct access to Headley, who confessed to plotting the Mumbai attacks.

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