The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday said the Centre’s statement that India is yet to take a decision on filing a charge sheet against 26/11 accused David Headley and Tahawwur Rana proves the government’s “lethargy and reluctance” to bring to book all those involved in the attack.
“The government’s statements do not inspire confidence. The government all the while, has been giving an impression that it was unwilling to go deeper into the investigation. We ask: is there any lethargy, any reluctance?” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
She sought to know if the reason is “negligence” in collecting enough material evidence to link with Headley’s recee in India.
The opposition also wanted to know why Rana was not interrogated when the Indian government officials visited the US and questioned Headly on 26/11.
The BJP had on Friday asked the government to ensure that Rana, who has been given a clean chit in the 26/11 case by a US court, be punished for his involvement in the attack. It said India should ask the US government to go in appeal against Rana in a higher court.
The opposition was provoked on Saturday when the government said India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) will take a decision on filing a charge sheet against Headley, Rana and others in an Indian court.
BJP maintained that Headley had helped in setting up Rana’s business in India which served as a cover for their “illegal and dangerous activities” here.
Was prior permission obtained for this business in India? He (Headley) was a frequent traveller and did this attract any attention of the investigative agencies?” Ms. Sitharaman asked.
Similarly, Rana had admitted to his aiding and facilitating Headley’s operations in India and claimed he was helping Headley in his “intelligence gathering” here for Pakistan.
“This is a crime which needs to be tried in India. It has been reported that the money for setting up the Rana’s immigration business —— First World in Mumbai...the money came from the ISI and through Major Iqbal,” Sitharaman said.
BJP reiterated its stand that there was “nothing to motivate” it before the proposed composite dialogue with Pakistan, as the real perpetrators and masterminds of 26/11 are still roaming free in the neighbouring country.