American terrorist David Coleman Headley's "hatred" for India goes back to December, 1971, when his school was allegedly bombed by an Indian fighter plane during the India-Pakistan war.
After his curt and angry responses to questions posed by the defence advocate on Thursday, the terrorist, who has turned approver in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case, made the revelation during the third day of cross-examination by Abdul Wahab Khan, the defence council for Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, one of the key plotters of the attacks.
"I have this hatred towards Indian since 7 December 1971, when Indian planes had bombed my school... The school was destroyed and many people who worked there had died," he said, according to The Indian Express.
During the interrogation, Headley also told the court that Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was Pakistan's Prime Minister in 2008, had visited his home just a few weeks after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
"The former Pakistan Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, visited my house a few weeks after my father’s demise on December 26, 2008," said Headley, according to The Hindu.
He added that his father was unhappy with Headley's association with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
#DavidHeadley says his father was retired DG Radio Pakistan, and he died on 25th December 2008.— ANI (@ANI_news) March 25, 2016
I told my father about my association with LeT, I told him myself. My father had objections with my association with LeT: #DavidHeadley— ANI (@ANI_news) March 25, 2016
ASSOCIATION WITH SHIV SENA
Headley claimed that he had 'arranged' for a 'fund-raising programme' for the Shiv Sena in the US and had planned to invite the then party supremo Balasaheb Thackeray to the event. But Thackeray's was unable to travel due to his illness.
He had told the court earlier that LeT wanted to eliminate Thackeray but the person who was assigned to kill the late Shiv Sena chief was arrested before he could do the job.
Headley also told the court that he had no knowledge of any women cell and suicide bombers cell in LeT. He denied that NIA suggested to him to name Ishrat Jahan (in the case). He also refuted meeting special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam and Joint Commissioner of Police, (Crime) in USA before his deposition in February this year.
Defence expert PK Sehgal has said that Headley's 'explosive revelations' have categorically brought forth the fact that the LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) have been assets of Pakistan.
"He (Headley) doesn't pick up hatred for his own people and armed forces but for the Indian Army for having liberated those people from the vicious rule of Pakistan Army. His disposition categorically brings forth the fact that LeT and JeM have been assets of Pakistan, they were fully funded and morally supported by Pakistani Army and the ISIS," Sehgal told ANI.
Sehgal added that Pakistan should be blamed for the 1971 war as the war was initiated by Islamabad and that India never targeted any civilians or any schools.
"Headley's contention that he developed hatred for India as India had bombed the school in which he was studying, well to an extent if that is true Pakistan itself has to be blamed. The 71 war like everybody knows was initiated by Pakistan. That fight started when Pakistan had strike on air fields and India responded very viciously, in that strike we never targeted any civilians or hit any school unless the school was involved in hiding in certain military activity or involved in something which was inimical as far as India was concerned," he added.
(With agency inputs)
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