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Updated: November 14, 2009 18:54 IST

Headley stayed in two Delhi hotels

Devesh K. Pandey
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Flames coming out of Taj Hotel where a terror strike took place on November 26, 2008, a file photo.
Flames coming out of Taj Hotel where a terror strike took place on November 26, 2008, a file photo.

David Headley, arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States recently along with his accomplice for alleged links with the Lashkar-e-Taiba, had stayed for three days at two hotels in Paharganj in Central Delhi this March. A Delhi police team visited the hotels on Friday to collect his identification documents.

Following reports that Headley had stayed at De Holiday International and Hotel Anand, a team led by Assistant Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Ravi Shankar visited the hotels for inquiry. While screening the entry books, they found that Headley had stayed for a day at De Holiday International, and later shifted to Hotel Anand.

“He first checked in at De Holiday International around 4.45 p.m. on March 7 and stayed in Room No. 205. He then checked out the next morning and took Room No. 40 in Hotel Anand where he stayed till March 9 evening,” said an officer.

Camera footage deleted

During his stay, Headley did not make even a single call using the hotel phone. He did not use any credit card at the hotels. The closed-circuit television camera footage pertaining to that period was deleted in both the hotels long ago.

The police believe that Headley had submitted “valid” identification documents in the hotels. A photocopy of his passport (No. 097536400) bearing his photograph revealed that he had obtained a five-year Indian visa (No. Z314473). The same document carries Abu Dhabi and Pakistan stamps indicating that he had also visited these countries. There were several stamp marks on that page suggesting frequent travels.

A form filled out by Headley for submission to the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office also did not contain much information about him. It only mentioned the five-year visa validity period and that he had arrived in the Capital on March 7, 2009, sources said.

The 24-page passport was issued in the name of Headley in 2006 in the United States and was valid till 2016.

The National Investigating Agency recently registered a case in connection with the conspiracy, which Headley and his Canadian accomplice, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, were part of, hatched to carry out terror strikes in India.

However, the searches at the hotels were carried out by the Special Cell of the Delhi police, independent of the NIA.

The police now hope to carry forward investigations into the Delhi-based links of Headley, who was here apparently to conduct a reconnaissance of the National Defence College, one of the prime targets of the LeT.

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