New Delhi: David Coleman Headley, one of the conspirators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, was sentenced on Thursday to 35 years in prison. Headley, 52, whose meticulous scouting missions facilitated the assault by 10 gunmen from a Pakistani-based militant group, which killed 160 people - including children.
This came even as India wanted a longer punishment or a death sentence for Headley. While External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said India would have given Headley a longer jail term, Home Secretary RK SIngh said he should have been given a death sentence.
What now remains to be seen is whether Headley will be extradited to India. Headley had pleaded guilty to all charges after a plea bargain which exempted Headley from extradition to India and the death penalty. India has also made blunders in the past when Headley visited the country. Some big questions that face India are:
- How did Headley procure multiple entry business visas to visit India seven times?
- Why did records fail to match Headley to his Pakistani background?
- How did Headley fail detection in Mumbai despite many visits and filming sensitive installations, even after attacks?
- Why did Indian officials fail to heed US warnings on attacks
- How did Ajmal Kasab's boat escape naval surveillance despite satellite inputs from US?