Mumbai, March 25 (IANS) Pakistani-American LeT terrorist-turned-approver David Coleman Headley said here on Friday that he nursed a hatred towards India and Indians since December 1971 when his school was bombed by Indian fighter planes during India-Pakistan war which saw the creation of Bangladesh.
“I have this hatred… towards Indian since December 7, 1971… When Indian planes had bombed my school… The school was destroyed and many people who worked there had died,” Headley claimed on the third day of his ongoing cross-examination before Special Judge G. A. Sanap on Friday.
He was replying to the questions posed by lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan, the defence cousel for Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, one of the key plotters of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
Headley was referring to the bombing of his school during the India-Pakistan war which saw the dismemberment of East Pakistan that became Bangladesh.
The childhood incident when he was barely 10 years old left such an imprint on his tender mind that Headley decided to join the Lashkar-e-Taiba later to avenge the bombing of his school.
He admitted that it was one of the reasons why he joined the LeT years later.
In another disclosure, Headley, 56, said he made attempt to organise a fund-raising programme for the Shiv Sena party and even invite the party’s founder-patriarch, the late Bal Thackery to the US, but he had no plans to attack him there.
Incidentally, on February 12 he had revealed a plot to kill the late Bal Thackeray and on March 24 (Thursday) he spoke of an attack made on him (Thackeray) with the attacker caught but managed to escape from police custody.
Headley said that he was in touch with the then Shiv Sena Public Relations Officer Rajaram Rege whom he had earlier befriended in connection with the planned trip for the late Thackeray.
Though Headley never met the late Thackeray, he was open to inviting some other Sena leader after Rege informed that the senior Thackeray was old and unwell, he said.
Headley is being cross-examined by Khan via video-conferencing from an unknown location in the US where he is currently undergoing a 35-year jail sentence for the 26/11 and Denmark terror strikes.
Ex-Pakistan PM Gilani visited my home, says Headley
Pakistani-American LeT terrorist-turned-approver David Coleman Headley said on Friday that former Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani visited his house to pay condolences a few weeks after his father’s death on December 25, 2008.
Though he denied that Gilani had attended the funeral of his father Sayed Salim Gilani, a former diplomat and Director-General of Radio Pakistan, who died a month after 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Headley said the former prime minister visited his home a weeks later.
Headley’s revelation came before Special Judge G.A. Sanap during his ongoing cross-examination by lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan, defence counsel for Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, an accused in the 26/11 attack case.
Headley’s father expired on December 25, 2008 while his step-brother Daniel Gilani worked as a PRO in Prime Minister Gilani’s office, Headley told the judge.
He added that his father was aware of his association with the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and was not happy about it.
However, when asked if his step-brother Daniel Gilani was aware of his LeT links, Headley merely said they lived in different cities of Pakistan.
But he said a friend in Pakistan, Saulat Rana, was in the know of his LeT connections and his recce trips to Mumbai.
Rana was not linked with LeT and he neither objected nor encouraged Headley who worked for the terror group, nor did he tour Pakistan with him before the 26/11 terror attack by Pakistani terrorists that left 166 people dead.
He added that his father was a noted poet and writer, and after his death Daniel had publicly clarified that the family had barely any connections with him (Headley) — who had changed his name from Dawood Gilani to David Coleman Headley at LeT’s behest to enter India easily.