NIA to question Hashmi, Chhabria

Aarti Chhabria

Headley and his Pakistani-Canadian associate Tahawwur Hussain Rana are currently in FBI custody for allegedly plotting terror attacks in India. It is now held that the duo was involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Film maker Mahesh Bhatt’s son Rahul Bhatt himself was introduced to Headley by a Mumbai-based gym instructor, Vilas Vartak. He had been working with Moksha gymnasium at Napean Sea Road. The gym is owned by noted journalist Pritish Nandy.
When contacted, actor Hashmi texted: “All questions regarding the case should be directed to the NIA.”

Chhabria’s lawyer Hitesh Jain denied his client’s links with Headley.
“There is absolutely no connection whatsoever between Chhabria and Headley. This is a mischievous and malicious rumour alleging links between the two,” Jain said.

Vartak claimed that Headley had met him at Moksha gym and had befriended him during body-building sessions. Vilas later introduced Headley to Rahul, and the three became friends soon, going out for coffee and spending a lot of time together, crime branch sources said.

“I happened to learn about Headley’s terror links on TV and was shocked. I told Rahul about it, and we subsequently told the crime branch about our interaction with Headley,” Vartak said.

“Headley was a nice talker and a go-getter who called me his ‘guru’ and a younger brother,” he added.

In Pune, Headley had stayed at hotel Surya Villa near the famous Osho Ashram in the Koregaon Park area on March 16 during his visit to the city this year. The NIA sleuths also questioned the hotel manager. The hotel is frequented by foreigners who visit the ashram.

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