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More than 20 on NIA radar

delhi Updated: Nov 17, 2009 00:17 IST
Aloke Tikku
Aloke Tikku
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

More than 20 people are on the radar of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the activities of the two Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operatives, David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Rana, in India.

Intelligence agencies have told the NIA the two were in touch with nearly 24 people, many of them in Mumbai. Rahul Bhatt, son of film-maker Mahesh Bhatt, was one of them.

The agencies have also told the home ministry that the Headley, a US citizen, and Rana, a Canadian citizen — both of Pakistani origin — were in Pakistan around the time of 26/11 attacks on Mumbai.

Rana was in India last November days before the attacks and Headley had flown in on eight occasions by then. His last visit was around June this year.

While the NIA is looking for evidence to seek their extradition and put them on trial, agencies are trying to figure if their Pakistan visit in November 2008 was more than a coincidence.

“Our focus is to find out as many people as possible who came in contact with the two and get as much information ... and identify the sleeper cells they were in contact with,” a government official said.

“...We are speaking to them ... asking them to remember every conversation that they have had with them,” a home ministry official said.