California Court Paves Way For Extradition Of 26/11 Terrorist To India
LOS ANGELES, CA (IANS) – In a May 16 order, US Federal Court Magistrate Judge, Jacqueline Choolijian has allowed the extradition of Pakistani-Canadian businessman and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack accused Dr. Tahawwur Hussain Rana. to India under the Indo-US Extradition Treaty, to face the laws there for his involvement in the mayhem, which killed 166 civilians and 9 of the terrorists.
The lone terrorist nabbed alive, Ajmal Kasab underwent a full trial and was hanged
Rana was convicted by a Chicago court in 2011 for providing support to the terror outfit operating from Pakistan, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which had masterminded the 26/11 2008 strikes, along with Headley, currently serving a 35-year jail term.
Judge Choolijian’s order said that after reviewing all the relevant documents and arguments submitted during the hearings in the court, it certified Rana’s extrudability to India on the charges against him.
India had filed a plea in June 2020 seeking Rana’s provisional arrest prior to extradition, and the judge’s order comes ahead of PM Modi’s scheduled state visit to the US on June 22.
This was possible with the deposition of David Coleman Headley which had thrown light on various aspects of the planning and conspiracy and provided crucial evidence indicating Pakistan’s role.
Headley had made six trips to Mumbai, five prior to the 26/11 terror attacks and one later, while Rana had come here thrice before the strikes.
The Maharashtra government on May 18 welcomed the decision. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said “Everybody was aware that Pakistan had a hand behind the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. Now, with Rana’s extradition to India, it will help legally establish Pakistan’s role behind those attacks,” he said.
Ujjwal Nikam, the Special Public Prosecutor in the 26/11 trial, also lauded the development as a “big success for India’s efforts”.
A Pakistani-Canadian origin resident of Chicago, Rana, 62, is an immigration services consultant and a former army physician who was nabbed for plotting the attacks on the Danish newspaper “Jyllands-Posten” and is currently serving a 14-year jail term.