Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley said before a Mumbai court on Friday that he had arranged a fund-raiser for the Shiv Sena, the pro-Hindutva party that is part of the ruling NDA in Maharashtra and at the Centre.
During his cross-examination on Friday, Headley said he had initially planned to invite the then Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray for the fund-raiser event organised in the US.
“Thackeray was sick and so, maybe, his son and other officials may attend the programme,” Headley said, quoting Sena leader Rajaram Rege.
To a query on whether Lashkar-e-Taiba was in the know, Headley said he had discussed about the fund-raising programme with the terror outfit. He could not, however, say if Thackeray, too, knew about the programme. “How can I know this? I spoke to Rajaram Rege and he told me that he (Thackeray) was advised against travelling,” Headley said.
Headley had revealed that the terror outfit had hatched plans to kill Thackeray but the assassin assigned to carry out the plan was caught. He later slipped out of police custody, Headley said.
The 56-year-old, who was arrested in Chicago for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, disclosed via video link from the US that he visited the Sena headquarters twice during sorties to India to pick possible targets for the LeT.
“I believe an attempt was made on the life of the Shiv Sena chief ... The man who made the attempt had escaped from police custody,” Headley told the special court of additional sessions judge GA Sanap. “LeT wanted to target Thackeray. They wanted to kill him wherever they could find him in Mumbai.”