Indian Consulate gave extended visa to terror suspect
Posted on: 01:57 AM IST Nov 17, 2009
New Delhi: It has come to light that the Indian Consulate in Chicago facilitated arrested Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative Tahawwur Hussain Rana's entry into India and in violation of rules.
Copies of visas issued to Rana and a woman called Samraz Rana show that both of them were issued multiple entry visas under the discretion of the Consul General.
This is a clear violation of the rule which requires clearance by the Home Ministry in case of persons born in Pakistan, and both Rana and the woman were born in Pakistan.
The duo was even exempted from registering with the police if their stay in India did not exceed 180 days. Rana was given a year-long business visa and Samraz was in India on a tourist visa valid for five years.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Police on Monday recorded the statement of a city-based advertising agency's head, who helped publish ads of terror suspect David Headley's visa facilitating centre in various newspapers.
Narendra Shah (65), who heads ad agency 'Prachar' at Matunga area in central Mumbai, was questioned, police sources said, adding all documents pertaining to Headley's Immigration Law Centre's ads were submitted to them.
Shah told PTI that he came in contact with Headley in 2007 and went to his Tardeo's office on several occasions.
"We provided our service in getting his visa agency's ads placed in various newspapers in Mumbai and Kochi soliciting people for jobs in the US," he was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
"In 2007 and 2008, I went to Headley's office for about six times. There are reports that I know Rana which is not true. I only knew Headley whom I met several times. I submitted all documents pertaining to the ads of Headley's business and my statement was also recorded by police today (Monday)," Shah said.
Both the alleged LeT operatives - Headley and his Canadian accomplice Tahawwur Hussain Rana -- were arrested by FBI last month on charges of plotting terror strikes inside and outside the US.
(With inputs from PTI)