The Mumbai Crime Branch presented it in the UAPA court supported by new evidence that indicates his active participation as a co-conspirator in the 26/11 attacks in 2008 when he was in India
Tahawwur Rana is the fifth accused to be charged in the 26/11 attacks. File pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
The Mumbai Crime Branch has filed a 405 pages fifth supplementary charge sheet against Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian national of Pakistani origin, for his involvement in the 26/11 terror attack. Rana is currently incarcerated in a Los Angeles jail, and awaits extradition. In June 2020 the Indian government submitted a detailed dossier to the US and it was supported by the Joe Biden administration.
This year in May Rana was found eligible for extradition. The LA district court ordered his extradition to India. He has challenged its order in a higher court in the US. He is the fifth accused to be charged, alongside Amir Ajmal Kasab who was hanged in 2012 and Abu Jindal who is still facing trial. Faheem Ansari and Sabaudin Shailh were acquitted after spending 12 years in jail.
Details in the charge sheet
According to sources within the Mumbai Crime Branch, the charge sheet was presented on Monday in the UAPA court in Mumbai, supported by new evidence. The evidence indicates Rana's active participation as a co-conspirator in the attacks during his presence in India from November 11 to November 21, 2008. On November 20 and 21, 2008, Rana was confirmed to be in Mumbai, staying at a hotel in Powai, and these details are now included in the charge sheet. The officials have said that few days before the attacks he left India via Dubai and travelled to Beijing.
Throughout the investigation, the crime branch identified 14-15 crucial witnesses whose statements are also part of the charge sheet. A senior officer from the Mumbai crime branch stated, "We have substantial evidence that Rana coordinated with the ISI and David Headley, having stayed with Headley for a period in India." Rana has been charged under various sections of the IPC, UAPA, Explosive Substances Act, and for causing damage to public property.
This marks the fifth charge sheet filed by the crime branch in connection with the 26/11 terror attacks. The city police have filed a total of 12 FIRs related to the case, all of which were consolidated. The first charge sheet, against Kasab, was submitted in 2009. According to the crime branch, Rana was initially arrested in Chicago in 2009 for allegedly planning an attack on a Danish newspaper that had published cartoons of Prophet Mohammed.
He also provided support material to Lashkar-E-Taiba (LeT). Rana was involved in aiding a murder plot in Denmark and was convicted in 2011, receiving a 14-year sentence followed by five years of supervised release. He was released in 2020 but detained again following the Indian government's request due to his involvement in the 26/11 attacks. In May of this year, the LA court found him eligible for extradition.
Who is Rana
Rana, a former Pakistani army doctor, migrated to Canada in 1997 and acquired citizenship. He later established a business in Canada called ‘First World Immigration Services’ and later took it to Chicago. Officials have indicated that he is also a childhood friend of Headley, the other accused-turned-approver in the 26/11 terror attacks.
The 26/11 attacks tragically claimed the lives of 166 people, including ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, with over 300 individuals sustaining injuries. According to the crime branch, there are still 49 wanted accused in the case who have sought refuge in Pakistan and played a role in coordinating the attacks.
No of pages in the fifth supplementary charge sheet