New Delhi, Dec 21: The government has given its sanction to charge sheet nine people including Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley, LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and two ISI officers for plotting terror attacks in India including the 26/11 strikes.
Besides Headley and Saeed, the Home Ministry gave sanction to National Investigation Agency to prosecute 26/11 attacks mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Headley's accomplice and Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Rana and al-Qaeda operative Illyas Kashmiri, official sources said here.
Sajid Malik, handler of Headley, and Abdul Rehman Hashmi will also be named in the charge sheet besides two officers Major Iqbal and Major Samir Ali, believed to be working for Pakistan's snooping agency, the sources said.
The sanction of prosecution against the nine was accorded after a legal opinion of the Law Ministry was obtained. They will be named in the charge sheet for waging war against the country under the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The NIA had registered a case against 50-year-old Headley and Rana on November 12, 2009 and later on added other names after investigation by central security agencies showed a large set of people involved in terror activities against the country.
Both Headley and Rana are at present in custody of US authorities and NIA has only got a limited access to Headley, who had entered into plea bargain with US authorities to escape harsh sentence.
50-year-old Rana was found guilty by the US court of terror activities in Denmark but absolved of his role in the 26/11 strikes in Mumbai.
The NIA, while registering a case against Rana and Headley under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and for conspiring to wage war against the country, had alleged that Headley had visited India “several times before 26/11 and once after” the Mumbai terror strikes, which left 166 people dead.
Barring Headley and Rana, NIA has secured an Interpol Red Corner Notice against all the seven accused including Saeed and Lakhvi, who is said to be in a Pakistani jail facing trial for conspiring the 26/11 attack.
Headley helped NIA identify voices of handlers giving instructions to the holed-up terrorists during the 60-hour carnage in Mumbai in November 2008. The handlers included Abu Hamza, the man who carried out the attack on the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, and a key planner, instructor and handler.
He also identified Sajid Majid, a top LeT terrorist, who asked the terrorists in Chabad House to ensure that none of the Israelis were left alive.