A United States court has denied the bail plea of Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana, a key accused in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack who was declared a fugitive by India, PTI reported on Monday. Rana is awaiting extradition to India, as he is wanted by the National Investigation Agency in the terror attack case that claimed 166 lives.

Rana, who is currently lodged in a Los Angeles prison, had moved the court seeking release from prison till his extradition hearing is finalised, on account of being reinfected with Covid-19, reported The Hindu. The court, however asserted that he has not negated the risk of flight. The matter will next be heard in February.

In his bail plea, Rana said that his health was in poor condition, after suffering two heart attacks while in custody and two weeks of illness earlier this year. He offered that his location could be monitored through ankle bracelet with GPS and his daughter who is pursuing online education or his mother-in-law could be made custodians to monitor his movement at home, The Hindu reported.

The court, however did not grant his plea. In an order dated December 10, it said: “Notwithstanding its consideration of such information, the court ultimately concluded that even a location monitoring condition combined with the proposed bond/other conditions would not negate the significant risk of flight.”

It also rejected the appeal to appoint Rana’s mother-in-law Mushraf Jahan as his co-custodian.

“While the Court appreciates the sacrifice that Ms Jahan has expressed a willingness to make, the Court is not persuaded that she – individually or in combination with her granddaughter – could ensure the Extraditee’s compliance with conditions of release/otherwise adequately fulfil the responsibilities of a third party custodian,” the court said, according to The Hindu.

Rana, 59, was released from prison in June after an Illinois court commuted his jail sentence, earlier scheduled to get over in September 2021, as he tested positive for coronavirus. However, he was again arrested the same month, on an extradition request by India, according to PTI.

The Pakistani-Canadian citizen, who was arrested in 2009, has challenged India’ extradition request and filed a plea against it in the US court on November 25. In 2013, he was convicted for providing material support to terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Rana is a childhood friend of David Coleman Headley, who was involved in plotting the Mumbai attack. Headley was made an approver in the case, and is currently serving a 35-year prison term in the US for his role in the attack.

Ten armed men who were trained by Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and officials in the Pakistan security establishment launched coordinated terror attacks at 12 locations in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 killing 166 people, including six Americans. One of the terrorists, Ajmal Kasab was caught and later hanged to death in 2012.