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Rana's Mahatma ploy a move to mislead court: prosecutors

world Updated: Dec 15, 2009 16:54 IST
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US prosecutors have taken strong objection to Pakistani-American Mumbai terror attack suspect Tahawwur Rana's assertion that he believed in the principles of non-violence advocated by Mahatma Gandhi, claiming that he admired and supported mass murderers.

In its eight-page memo against Rana's bail application filed in a US court here, United States Attorney Patrick J Fitzgerald said in seeking a bond, defendant Rana has argued that he believes in non-violence, citing his membership of the Iqbal society.

"Rana has even gone so far as to claim to this Court that his beliefs are akin to those of Gandhi. He also claims to have been a dupe of (terror suspect David) Headley," the memo submitted in US District Court of Illinois said.

Taking strong exception to this, the US Attorney said: "ironically, in invoking the name of a man who embodied the principles of non-violence and speaking the truth, Rana seeks to mislead this Court as to the extent of his admiration and support for mass murderers".

The US Justice Department has claimed that Rana knew about the Mumbai terror strikes in advance and was in close touch with Pakistani-American LeT operative Headley.

"Far from advocating non-violence, Rana's own statements reveal his support for the brutal killing of 170 people. Rana was told of the attacks before they happened and offered compliments and congratulations to those who carried them out afterwards... it is quite clear that Rana is no Gandhi," the US Attorney said.