Monday, November 16, 2009

Violation of rules by Indian Consulate in US in visa for Rana?

Generosity of the Indian Consulate in Chicago appears to have facilitated the entry into India of Tahawwur Rana, arrested by the FBI in connection with a terror plot against India.

Copies of visas issued to Pakistani-Canadian Rana and a woman Samraz Rana Akhthar, who he claimed to be his wife, show that both were issued multiple entry visas by the Indian Consulate in October 2008.

Both the visas were issued "under the discretion of the Consul General" in apparent violation of rules under which clearance of Ministry of Home Affairs is required for any person born in Pakistan. Rana is born in Chichawatni and woman is born Bahawalpur. Both the places are in Pakistan's Punjab province.

The two were exempted even from registering with the police if their stay did not exceed 180 days. Rana was given a year-long business visa and Samraz was here on a tourist visa valid for five years. Both of them arrived at Mumbai airport on November 12 last year after which they travelled to Kochi in Kerala on November16.

An associate of a US citizen David Headley, who has also been arrested on terror charges by the FBI last month, Rana and Samraz had stayed in a five star hotel for a night during which they were allegedly looking for recruits for Pakistan- based Lashker-e-Taiba.

Ahead of the Kochi visit, Rana had given an advertisement in a prominent English daily asking youths willing to immigrate to US and Canada to appear for interview, sources said.

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