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The Rediff Special/ A Ganesh Nadar in Mumbai

'Antulay has maligned entire police force'

December 22, 2008

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Union Minister A R Antulay [Images] has cast aspersions on the entire police force of Mumbai, a senior police officer told rediff.com

The minority affairs minister in the Manmohan Singh [Images] government set off a political storm with his demand that the circumstances surrounding the death of Mumbai's Anti Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare at the hands of terrorists on November 26 be probed.

ATS chief Karkare was killed along with Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte, Senior Inspector Vijay Salaskar and two police constables on the night of November 26 as they drove towards Cama hospital [Images] in south Mumbai after receiving information that the two terrorists, who had struck at Mumbai's Chhattrapati Shivaji Terminus, were hiding there.

Antulay had raised doubts about the circumstances surrounding Karkare's death, suggesting that since the officer had been investigating the involvement of suspected Hindu terrorists in the Malegaon blasts, there could be more to his death than met the eye.

His statement has drawn sharp criticism while his Congress party has been mulling over how to handle the hot political potato the politician, who will turn 80 on February 9, has served up.

The Mumbai police officer, who spoke to rediff.com on condition of anonymity, said Antulay's statement has cast aspersions on the entire police force. "He is not talking of one mole in the organisation, but the whole police department," the officer said, for what Antulay really means is that the entire Mumbai police force is now trying up to cover up the truth about Karkare's death.

"The minister wanted his time under the sun with his allegations which will be proved wrong. But he won't regret it even when he is proved wrong. He has got publicity out of it. Politicians will go to any extent to get mileage out of anything," the police officer said.

If Karkare was killed by any other bullet than the ones that came from the terrorists's AK-47 rifles, we would have known, said this officer who added he has seen the post-mortem report of all the three police officers who died that night.

"We have recorded the FIR (First Information Report), we have the forensic reports and we have the post-mortem reports. I have seen all of them. They were killed by terrorists' bullets. That is the truth and you will see all the evidence when we present it in court," he told rediff.com

The officer was also appalled at reports that suggested the slain officers's blood samples will be tested for alcohol content. "Some doctor wants to act high-handed and some want to get cheap publicity out of martyrs," the police officer said.


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