Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday said the approval of a US court for the extradition of Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana, an accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, will reaffirm India’s stand that Pakistan had a role in the attacks.
Rana is currently in the federal lockup in Los Angeles.
As many as 166 people, including six Americans, were killed during the attacks by the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists in November 2008.
In a significant legal victory for India, a US court in California has approved the extradition of Rana to India where he is sought for his involvement in the horrific 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
The ruling comes just over a month before Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to the US on his first state visit at the invitation of President Joe Biden.
US Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian of the District Court of the Central District of California released a 48-page order on Wednesday, saying 62-year-old Rana “should be extradited to India” under the extradition treaty between India and the United States.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Fadnavis said, “Everybody knew that Pakistan had a hand behind the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. But with Rana’s extradition to India, it will legally establish Pakistan’s role behind the attack.” “This will further benefit our country to notify/list Pakistan as a terror state as well as invoke various sanctions against Pakistan under numerous treaties of the United Nations. Earlier, David Headley’s deposition turned out crucial in this case,” he said.
Fadnavis said it was the Modi government and NSA that took the initiative in these cases. “We could see it results now,” he added.
There is an extradition treaty in place between India and the United States. The US court judge ruled that Rana’s extradition to India is fully under the jurisdiction of the treaty.
India has issued an arrest warrant and charged Rana with the offences on which the United States is proceeding, the judge said.
These include conspiracy to wage war, to commit murder, to commit forgery for the purpose of cheating, to use as genuine a forged document or electronic record, and to commit a terrorist act, waging war, murder, committing a terrorist act and conspiracy to commit a terrorist act.