Raids in Delhi, Mumbai for Headley proof

Investigation may take 4-6 weeks for completion; Rahul still not off the hook

Raids in Delhi, Mumbai for Headley proof

According to Home Ministry sources, the NIA is likely to question Bollywood film maker Mahesh Bhatt’s son Rahul Bhatt over his alleged friendship with the Pakistan-born American, who is in US custody.

Searches were conducted at cyber cafes and hotels in central Delhi’s Paharganj area where Headley is suspected to have stayed. He had stayed in two hotels at Paharganj for three days from March 7.

Though the police described  the raids as a routine exercise, some hotel staffers and cyber cafe owners said the sleuths had specifically asked for details of their customers who visited them during the first fortnight of March.

Union Home Secretary G K Pillai told reporters here that the NIA needed four to six weeks to complete the probe, adding that Rahul had not been given a clean chit. Rahul was earlier let off after a brief interrogation by the Mumbai police as he was said to be unaware of Headley’s terror links.  Sources said the NIA team in Mumbai would also question Rahul’s three friends.

The agency also carried out searches at various places in south Mumbai and the suburbs of the city, including Goregaon, Malad, Khar, Pali Hill and Lokhandwala.

Searches were conducted in a house at Goregaon where the arrested LeT operative Faheem Ansari had stayed. Ansari is currently in jail with another suspect, Sabahuddin Mohammed, for conspiring to carry out the Mumbai terror attacks.

Records with south Mumbai’s Taj and Trident hotels, where Headley had reportedly stayed before 26/11, were also scrutinised.

Investigators believe that Rahul Bhatt will help them gather more details on Headley’s visits to Mumbai.

Mahesh Bhatt has denied that his son has any links with terrorists. But he admitted that Rahul, a fitness instructor, had indeed met Headley in a gym.

Terror trail

* Pakistani national arrested at IGI airport on espionage charges
* Arrest has no connection with probe against David Headley
* FBI seeks more time to examine fresh evidence against T H Rana
* Rana and wife Samraz stayed in Kochi on November 16 last year
* He is scheduled to be produced before court on November 19
* National Investigation Agency looking into details of Rana’s stay
* No information available so far on Headley’s visit to Kerala.

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