Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley told a Mumbai court on Friday that he tried to develop close relations with a Shiv Sena member as he thought that Lashkar-e-Taiba might be interested to either attack Sena Bhawan or “assassinate its head”, a reference to Bal Thackeray.
“I met one Rajaram Rege inside Shiv Sena Bhawan in Dadar during 2006-2007. I attempted to develop closer relation with him,” Headley said while testifying in the court via video-link from the US, in connection with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
“I was interested in accessing that building (Shiv Sena Bhawan) at that time. I thought LeT would be interested in the future to either attack the Shiv Sena Bhawan or assassinate its head,” he said.
Headley was answering questions put to him by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam regarding all those people in Mumbai with whom he had developed friendly relations.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday said it was a matter of pride for the party that Pakistan-based terror outfits consider it their enemy. He was reacting to the Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley’s statement in a Mumbai court that terrorist outfit LeT might have been interested in a strike on the Sena Bhavan, the party headquarters or assassinate its head (the late Bal Thackeray).
“We are not surprised that terrorists are interested in doing a recce of Sena Bhavan or Matoshree (Thackeray residence). Pakistan has always had both on hit-list. It is a matter of pride for us that Pakistan considers us to be their enemy and we are on their hit-list,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.
“We are not scared of any of them. If any of us is targeted by them, it would mean like winning a Maha Vir Chakra.”
“What would have happened had he (Bal Thackeray) been harmed is a different matter. The main point is Balasaheb’s name sends shivers down the spine of terrorists in Pakistan,” Raut said.
The 55-year-old, who recently turned approver in the 26/11 case, also told the court that he had joined ‘Moksh’ gym in south Mumbai in 2006-2007 and there he had developed relations with Vilas Warke, who was in-charge of the gym, and also Rahul Bhatt, who was Vilas’ friend.
“I met Rahul Bhatt through Vilas at a body building competition. Rahul’s father (Mahesh Bhatt) is in the movie business,” he said.
Rahul, a fitness trainer and an aspiring film actor, had been in news in 2009 following revelations that Headley, an accused in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, had befriended him.