India is likely to press for limited custody of 26/11 accused David Coleman Headley and his accomplice Tahawwur Hussain Rana during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh scheduled visit to the US in September. The decision is believed to have been taken following a preparatory visit of National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon to the US last week,sources said.
After his return,Menon is learnt to have held discussions with Home Secretary Anil Goswami in which the issue of Headleys extradition was also discussed. However,due to long and complex process of extradition,it was felt that India shall first try to secure limited custody based on the mutual assistance programme between the two countries,said officials.
It was also observed that since Headley has signed a plea bargain with the US,it will difficult for the US to extradite him. Under the plea bargain,Headley cannot be extradited to either India,Pakistan or Denmark.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA),probing the larger conspiracy in the 26/11 attack,has named Headley,Rana and seven others including LeT chief Hafiz Saeed for planning and executing the attack that killed more than 160 people. It has also sent a extradition request to the US for Headley and Rana.
On the progress of the trial,officials said that there has been not much progress since the filing of the chargesheet in December 2011. According to the NIA,since all the mastermind named in the chargesheet are either in Pakistan or in custody of US,it is difficult for them to take the trial to a logical conclusion.
The NIA is also awaiting the reply of its letter rogatory sent to Pakistan seeking judicial assistance in the probe.