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Have been assured of access to Headley: PM

New Delhi, May 24 (Calcutta Tube) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Monday that India has been assured by the US ‘at the highest level’ of access to David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani American who has been convicted for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

‘We have been assured at the highest level of access’, the prime minister replied at his press conference when asked about the delay in granting permission to India to interrogate Headley, who plea bargained with the US authorities to escape the death penalty and is now in a Chicago prison.

Speaking in Pune May 12, US ambassador Timothy J. Roemer said ‘certain tactical points’ need to be clarified before India is given direct access to Headley.

‘Access to Headley is not a mere give and take. Both the governments (India and the US) have to clarify on certain tactical points, after which a direct access can be given,’ Roemer said after visiting the German Bakery to pay tribute to the victims of the Feb 13 bombing in which 17 people were killed.

The Indian government has said it would form a team of investigators to quiz Headley, a suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative, after it gets direct access.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium said after a trip to the US last month: ‘All bottlenecks (for access to Headley) have been removed and we have a way forward now. So it’s up to us to operationalise the plan forward.’

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