Visa applications of Rana, Headley not missing: Govt

All relevant info being shared with the investigating agencies


A day after the government sought a report from its Chicago consulate on the alleged disappearance of papers related to the visas given to the Mumbai terror conspirators, minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor said the visa application papers of Pakistan-born Canadian Rana had been found.
“Rana’s papers have been found and Headley’s are being traced,” Tharoor said.
The government also added that all “relevant information” in this regard was being shared with the investigating agencies.

In New Delhi, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said: “It would not be accurate to conclude that these visa applications are missing. All relevant information in this regard is being shared with the investigating agencies.”
The spokesperson added that the visas were issued to the two men on July 18, 2007, and March 3, 2006, respectively. A one- year business visa was also issued to Rana October 31, 2008. A senior official of the Indian Consulate in Chicago was quoted in some Indian TV networks as saying that the papers related to Headley and Rana had not gone missing and the “relevant information” in this regard was available with the Indian government.

The Headley-Rana issue surfaced during zero hour in the Rajya Sabha. Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) member Brinda Karat said: “This is an issue that concerns all Indian citizens. I would request the prime minister for a clarification on what we are doing to take up the issue with the US.”
“Whether he is a (US) agent or double agent, what is the extent of co-operation we are receiving from the US?” asked BJP leader Arun Jaitley.
Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao had said on Wednesday that it would be “unprofessional” to comment on speculation that Headley was a double agent as the matter was under investigation.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has denied that Headley was its agent at any point of time. “I can’t comment on an ongoing investigation, but any suggestion that this individual worked for the CIA is flat wrong,” said CIA spokesperson Marie E Harf in Washington.

The National Investigation Agency is currently probing the visa application process for Headley and Rana as part of its investigation into their roles in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.  The visa papers are important because they could help Indian officials trace both the conspirators’ local contacts as they made multiple trips to India before 26/11.
Headley has been charged in a US court with conspiring to commit terror attacks outside the US and providing material support to terrorist organisations.

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