Headley, wife visits cover for Taj, Trident recce: NIA

Headley

The visits made by David Coleman Headley and his second wife Faiza Outalha between April-May 2007 has been described by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in its chargesheet as the cover for Headley's surveillance of Taj Mahal and Oberoi Trident hotels. Most of the casualties in the November 26, 2008 attack were at the two upscale hotels in Mumbai.

According to the NIA chargesheet, Headley and his Moroccan wife came to India on April 28, 2007 and checked into Taj Mahal hotel. Investigators have found from the hotel records that it was Headley who gave the details about himself to the hotel authorities. The two stayed at Taj Mahal hotel till April 30, 2007 during which Headley conducted surveillance of the hotel and videotaped the layout. The NIA has also detailed the conversation between Headley and his first wife Shazia Gilani, who is presently stated to be in the US.

Headley communicated to his first wife Shazia through haidergilani@hotmail.com in which he discussed the plan about Mumbai attack.

But NIA claims that Shazia was not part of the conspiracy as the conversation between husband and wife falls into 'privileged conversation' and cannot be treated as evidence.

The chargesheet alleges that Headley was instructed by his handlers based in Pakistan to carry out reconnaissance of the 2nd floor of the Taj Mahal hotel, particularly the ball room and conferences halls.

On the instruction from his handler, Headley and Faiza first stayed at Taj Mahal hotel for three days and then checked into Oberoi Trident on April 30. The two stayed at Trident till May 2, 2007 and again checked into Taj Mahal hotel on May 3, 2007 where the couple stayed for a few more days, according to the chargesheet.

The NIA has also brought on record the travel details of Faiza from Pakistan and Headley who was on his sixth visit to India when he carried out surveillance of the two hotels.

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