On 12th anniversary of Mumbai massacre, India wants Chicagoan in hangman's noose

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner via WLS logo
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
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India officials have a time table set for the return of ex-Chicago travel agent Tahawwur Rana to Mumbai where he would be put on trial for murder.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In India on this day a dozen years ago, the nation was numb and its biggest city, Mumbai,, was mopping up blood from a terror siege that left hundreds dead and wounded.

Eight thousand miles away, a pair of Chicago friends were celebrating the calamity, having helped plan a commando raid by Pakistani radicals that took the city by storm.

Now, India officials want revenge against one of them and now have a time table set for the return of ex-Chicago travel agent Tahawwur Rana to Mumbai where he would be put on trial for murder, and if convicted would likely face a hangman's noose or possible a firing squad.

Chicagoan David Headley helped design the plan with his friend and fellow Pakistani native Rana.

Headley pleaded guilty in a Chicago deal that saved him from extradition. Rana lost at trial and now Indian prosecutors have extradition plans to put him on trial for murder.

The former north side immigration counselor and travel agent served his time in the Chicago case; but is currently in custody at the federal detention center in Los Angeles.

An extradition hearing has now been set for February 12.

Rana's attorneys are also pressing for his release on bond, claiming that he is in danger from the hundreds of prisoners who have been infected by COVID-19. They say there were 99 inmates infected on November 16, eight days later the number of infected inmates had jumped to 219.

They said, even though Rana had tested positive for the virus in April and again June, "with the passage of time, any such immunity weakens."

Rana's attorneys suggest he may be re-infected a third time and contend that because of additional medical issues, including chronic renal failure, chronic heart disease, hypothyroidism, hyperlipidemia, GERD, enlarged prostate, and calcium deficiency, he is at further risk of serious complications.

In a newly filed opposition to Rana's release, the government admits a "significant outbreak" underway at the federal lockup in Southern California, but they contend Rana is a flight risk and should not be freed.