MUMBAI (TIP): David Headley spoke coolly as he told a stunned Mumbai court on March 25 that he has hated India since childhood and wanted to inflict “maximum loss and damage” here.
“Since childhood I hate India and Indians and wanted to cause maximum loss and damage to India,” said Headley, who is serving a 35-year prison term in the US for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 people in 2008.
Responding to questions on Day 3 of his cross-examination, Headley’s voice betrayed no emotion as he explained his hatred, “My school was bombed on December 7, 1971. My school was destroyed and the people who worked there died,” Headley claimed.
He did not mention it, but the reference was to the India-Pakistan war fought in December 1971. 55-year-old Headley would have been 11 years old then.
At another time, when the judge advised Headley not to lose his patience on being asked the same questions repeatedly by a defence lawyer, the terrorist said in English, “I am not losing my patience,” and then switched to Hindi, saying, “Main bohot kharab insaan hoon (I am a very bad person). Maine maan liya hai (I have admitted it). I have pleaded guilty. Phir maan leta hoon (Let me admit it again). But I thought I was a government witness.”
Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had objected saying Headley had already answered questions being posed to him today and he was apprehensive that Headley may lose his patience and insult the the defence lawyer.
Headley – who had recced sites for the Mumbai terror attacks on multiple visits before 10 Lashkar terrorists struck the city on November 26, 2008 – was arrested in 2009 in the US, which guaranteed he will not face the death penalty or be extradited in exchange for his disclosing information about the terror group.
In December last year, Headley agreed to turn approver or witness for the prosecution in the 26/11 case being heard in Mumbai, in exchange for a pardon.