When David Headley Tried to Get at Bal Thackeray

In his recce of Mumbai a year before 26/11, the Lashkar operative befriended a Shiv Sena and checked out the party office

Published: 12th February 2016 11:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th February 2016 10:47 PM   |  A+A-

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MUMBAI: Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley today told a Mumbai court that he tried to develop close relations with a Shiv Sena member as he thought that his principals in the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) would be interested in either attacking the Sena Bhawan or "assassinate its head", a reference to Bal Thackeray.

"I met one Rajaram Rege inside Shiv Sena Bhawan in Dadar during 2006-2007. I attempted to develop closer relations with him," Headley said while testifying in the court via video-link from the US on his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

"I was interested in accessing that building at that time. I thought LeT would be interested in the future to either attack the Shiv Sena Bhawan or assassinate its head," he said.

Headley was answering questions put to him by special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam regarding the people he befriended in Mumbai in the months prior to the 26/11 attacks.

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The 55-year-old, who turned approver in the 26/11 case, also told the court that he joined the Moksh gym in south Mumbai in 2006-2007 and became friends with gym owner Vilas Warke and his friend Rahul Bhatt, the son of film-maker Mahesh Bhatt.

"I met Rahul Bhatt through Vilas at a body building competition. Rahul's father (Mahesh Bhatt) is in the movie business," Headley testified.

Rahul, a fitness trainer and an aspiring film actor, was in the news in 2009 following revelations that Headley had befriended him.

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