Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday made it clear that India would continue to press for Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operative David Headley’s extradition and access, saying that his plea bargain with the US authorities and the Indo-US extradition treaty were being examined in this context.
The minister also lashed out at Maoists ahead of his West Bengal visit this weekend.
The minister did not confirm reports of Maoist leader Kishenji being injured in an encounter with security forces. But he wondered why he wasn’t calling journalists any more.
Headley and the US attorney have agreed on a plea bargain and “we are examining the legal implications of the agreement”, Chidambaram said at a press conference here.
The Home Ministry is sending a letter to the US which is being vetted by legal experts. “We intend to press our request for access to David Headley for questioning him and for recording his testimony,” he said.
The government has frozen 18 bank accounts found involved in terror financing under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The bank accounts are located in Pune, Guwahati and West Bengal.
“Fourteen bank accounts of Moshin Ismail Chowdhary in the Ratnakar Bank, Nana Peth branch, Pune, two bank accounts held by S.S. Brig Ningthoujam Rajen Singh, Commander-in-Chief and Finance Secretary of Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup in the ICICI Bank, Guwahati and two accounts held by Rajen Singh’s associate in SBI, Kurseong” have been frozen, he said.
Chidambaram pointed to recent instances of violence by Maoists to emphasise that they needed to be dealt with “firmly and boldly”.
“No one should have any illusions about the motives and methods of the CPI-Maoist. They believe in armed liberation struggle. They kill and loot indiscriminately,” he said.