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Gujarat videos inspired Headley

Alleged terrorist David Headley recounted during his deposition at the trial of convict Tahawwur Rana in May that he was shown a video of the Gujarat riots as part of his training by his Lashkar-e-Taiba handlers.

delhi Updated: Jun 14, 2011 23:15 IST
HT Correspondent

Alleged terrorist David Headley recounted during his deposition at the trial of convict Tahawwur Rana in May that he was shown a video of the Gujarat riots as part of his training by his Lashkar-e-Taiba handlers.

In saying this, he repeated what he had told Indian investigators a year ago in June 2010.

"It was a massacre that had happened, and they showed people running, houses being burnt. And also since that time, from 2002 to 2007, the Lashkar office itself had received hundreds of letters from Muslims in Gujarat asking for help," Headley told the court in response to a question from the attorney.

Babu Bajrangi's videos of Gujarat were among those shown to him.

Bajrangi, a Bajrang Dal activist, became infamous for his remarks to a Tehelka undercover reporter claiming to have led the rioting mobs through one of the worst-affected areas of Gujarat: Naroda Patiya in Ahmedabad.

"I came back after I killed them, called up the home minister and went to sleep … I felt like Rana Pratap, (16th century Rajasthan warrior who fought the Mughals) that I had done something like Maharana Pratap… I’d heard stories about him, but that day I myself did what he did," he said.

This tape is available on Youtube, which is how it was shown to Headley.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, "Hundreds of riots took place in Gujarat and elsewhere under Congress rule in which thousands of Muslims were killed. How do I know which videos he saw?"

Senior Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed said, "It is very difficult to believe a habitual criminal like David Headley in totality but it is a fact that the communal politics practised by the BJP and the RSS is mainly responsible for the growth of home-grown terrorism in this country."

Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and his government have not given a statement on this.