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India asks for Headley access

New Delhi, April 20: India today requested the US to extradite Tahawwur Rana and grant it access for a second time to David Coleman Headley, both of them jailed in America on terror charges.

Both men are accused of helping the Lashkar-e-Toiba plot the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The request came at the India-US homeland security talks here between home secretary R.K. Singh and his counterpart Jane Lute.

India’s National Investigation Agency has chargesheeted Headley and Rana. But sources said there was little hope of getting Headley, a double agent jailed after plea bargaining, extradited.

“We had a positive discussion on all issues,” Singh said but declined to reveal details. Apparently, India has accepted a US request not to divulge information about the discussions on the Mumbai attacks.

India and the US are committed to comprehensive sharing of information relating to the Mumbai attacks.

The two sides also discussed technology exchange and capacity-building in areas of US expertise, such as airline and cyber security. India is seeking sophisticated devices for passenger and air cargo scanning.

The US has a transportation security administration, one of whose unique features is the behaviour detection officer programme that India may check out. These officers screen travellers for involuntary physical and physiological reactions that reveal their fear of being detected.