n18
NEWS|Current Affairs 
   |

New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) India said Friday that it will continue to press for the extradition of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley, sentenced by a US court to 35 years in prison for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai attack, and would have liked harsher punishment.Ministers, the ruling Congress as well as the opposition BJP said the government should keep trying for the extradition of the Pakistani-American who played a key role in the 26/11 attack.A day after a Chicago court's ruling, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said: "Had we tried him, we would have sought much more.""We are a little disappointed as we wanted that he should have been brought here and tried as the real loss has been of India. It would have been appropriate if he would have been tried here," Khurshid told reporters here.The minister said there was the law of land in the US. "We know that, but we still hope and will try that such people should be brought here and tried," he said."We would have liked a severer sentence. We would have liked the accused to be tried in India. But at least a beginning has been made. We will continue our efforts to ensure that all such people are extradited and brought to India for trial," Khurshid said.Under a plea deal, US prosecutors "had agreed not to seek the death penalty against him and to not extradite him to Pakistan, India or Denmark for the offences to which Headley pleaded guilty", it was stated in the Chicago court.Khurshid said there was a little disappointment over the quantum of sentence, "but we know that the judge has said clearly that the sentence has been given as there was a provision in their law that he cannot be extradited".Headley's sentence would be followed by five years of supervised release. There is no federal parole and defendants must serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.Asked about Headley's accomplice Tahawwur Rana, whom India wants to stand trial here, Khurshid said the government was watching his case closely."The same thing continues. There is little difference between the two cases because in this case he (Headley) had given up his right of appeal. In the other case (Rana's), the right of appeal has not been given up. So, we continue to watch these cases very closely, and such legal intervention as we can make at any time we will continue to do so," Khurshid told reporters.Home Secretary R.K. Singh said the plea deal was between Headley and the US government and that India would keep pressing for his extradition."Our request for extradition stands and we shall continue pressing for it. All those people involved in the conspiracy to kill 166 people in Mumbai, all of them deserve death," Singh told reporters here.Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari added that India's "right" for Headly's extradition was "non-negotiable".He said Headley had been accused of masterminding the most heinous terrorist outrage in recent Indian history. "He needs to be tried in accordance to Indian laws, it is something which is non-negotiable," Tewari told reporters.Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said the party wanted Headley to be brought back to India."He should have been punished here, the land where he committed his crimes and we are disappointed that America refused to extradite him."Party leader Digvijaya Singh said: "The Indian government should keep trying to extradite him."The BJP also said the sentence handed over to Headley was a "partial judgement" and he should be brought to India to face trial."The 35-year imprisonment handed down to Headley is perhaps for the death of six Americans killed on Indian soil (in 26/11). Over 145 people were brutally massacred in Mumbai. What about them?" BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.Describing the US judgement as partial, he said it was based on US laws for US citizens, who were killed in India."The BJP wants justice for all those who were killed in India. It is only possible when Headley is brought to India to be tried by our courts," Rudy said.

Obama's Syria conundrum: Should the Congress get to weigh in on airstrikes?

from firstpost

Obama's Syria conundrum: Should the Congress get to weigh in on airstrikes?

Washington: President Barack Obama faces a familiar question as he contemplates airstrikes in Syria: Should Congress have a say in his decision?Obama was barreling toward strikes last summer when he a...


In a first for Chilean army, sailor comes out as gay

from firstpost

In a first for Chilean army, sailor comes out as gay

London: A sailor in Chile has become the first serving member of the Chilean armed forces to announce he is gay, the BBC reported on Thursday.Mauricio Ruiz, 24, said his decision had "not been ea...

New evidence shows MH370 turned south earlier than thought

from firstpost

New evidence shows MH370 turned south earlier than thought

Canberra: Australia said Thursday the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will focus on the southern part of the existing search zone after new information suggested it "may have turn...

Imphal: Assam Rifles jawans killed in bomb blast

from firstpost

Imphal: Assam Rifles jawans killed in bomb blast

Imphal: Two jawans of the Assam Rifles were killed and another injured when a powerful bomb exploded in interior Chandel district of Manipur, police said today.The bomb exploded when the personnel of ...

Ebola-hit West African nations isolated as airlines stop flights

from firstpost

Ebola-hit West African nations isolated as airlines stop flights

Freetown: The three nations at the centre of the west African Ebola outbreak were left increasingly isolated Thursday as more airlines suspended flights to the crisis zone.Air France has agreed to Par...

US checking report of second American killed in Syria

from firstpost

US checking report of second American killed in Syria

Washington: The US is trying to determine if a second American fighting with the Islamic State group has been killed in Syria. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the US has no ...

US fighter jet crashes in Virginia

from firstpost

US fighter jet crashes in Virginia

Washington: A US F-15C Eagle fighter jet crashed on Wednesday morning near Deerfield in Virginia during a routine mission, Pentagon confirmed."Air Force and civilian first responders are respondi...