India is trying for extradition of 26/11 attack plotter Tahawwur Rana: MEA

New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday said that the Government of India is trying for the extradition of Pakistan-born Canadian Tahawwur Rana, who has been arrested in Los Angeles to face murder charges in India for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which over 160 people were killed.

“We are keeping a close watch on the extradition of Tahawwur Rana. We are trying for his extradition as soon as possible. In an update, his court hearing will begin on April 22, 2021,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in a weekly briefing.

Rana was re-arrested in Los Angeles on June 10, last year on an extradition request by India.

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According to The Washington Post, Chicago based businessman Tahawwur Rana was convicted of a crime related to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, although US prosecutors had failed to prove a terrorism charge that connected him directly to the rampage during his 2011 trial.

The Pakistan-born Canadian was serving a 14-year sentence at a Los Angeles federal prison before he was granted an early release last week because of poor health and a bout of coronavirus.

Rana was convicted in Chicago in 2011 of providing material support to the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which planned the Mumbai terror attack and for supporting a never-carried-out plot to attack a Danish newspaper that printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed in 2005.

He was accused of allowing David Coleman Headley to open a branch of his Chicago-based immigration law business in Mumbai as a cover story and travel as a representative of the company in Denmark.

Rana has been charged “with murder and murder conspiracy in India, according to court documents.” He had, however, been cleared of the more serious charge of “providing support for the attacks in Mumbai.”

Mumbai had come to a standstill on November 26, 2008, when 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists who entered the city via sea route from Pakistan carried out a series of coordinated shootings and bombings that injured over 300 and claimed the lives of 166 people in India’s financial capital.

The attacks took place at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station, Cama Hospital, Nariman House business and residential complex, Leopold Cafe, Taj Hotel and Tower and the Oberoi-Trident Hotel. 

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