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'Right-wing angle into Karkare's death must be probed'

Last updated on: November 24, 2011 16:37 IST

Image: Slain former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare
Photographs: Reuters Vicky Nanjappa

A year after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai shook the country, there was a major controversy pertaining to the death of former Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare.

The theory that was floated was whether Karkare was killed by Pakistani Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist Ajmal Kasab and his associates or has the handiwork of certain right-wing groups who were upset over his investigations into some other terror cases.

S M Mushrif, a former Indian Police Services officer, had written a book Who Killed Karkare-The Real Face of Terrorism, which sparked a major debate.

Mushrif in his book had even blamed some right-wing groups of being the masterminds behind Karkare's murder, 'as keeping him alive would have invited more probes into right-wing terror.'

Today, however, it appears to be a concluded theory that Kasab was directly responsible for killing Karkare, along with his colleagues Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar.

Mushrif says, in this brief interaction with, that he would not allow the issue to die down unless and until the matter is probed.

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'I never claimed it was a definitive theory'

Image: The cover of SM Mushrif's book
Photographs: Reuters

"I never claimed that it was a definitive theory (of right-wing groups behind Karkare's murder) and only said that there was no harm if the point that I have been raising is probed. The reason why I came to this conclusion is because the Intelligence Bureau was aware of the 26/11 attacks five days in advance and also knew about the entire operation," Mushrif said.

"This lack of intelligence could have been utilised by the right wing groups who had put Karkare on their radar. They were aware that Karkare would be on the road during the operation and hence could have used this as an opportunity," he pointed out.

"Today there is a public interest litigation that is pending in the high court. A person by the name Radhakanth Yadav has filed this PIL quoting my book. In August 2010, the court had directed both the Union and state governments to file its reply in a month. However, there was no reply, and on December 2010, the court raised six crucial points and now has once again sought a reply," he said.

'I would not let the issue die down'

Image: Kavita, wife of ATS chief Karkare, prays during ceremony in New Delhi
Photographs: Reuters

"It has been 11 months since and there has been no reply on the matter. Probably no one wants to take up this matter as it is too controversial. It appears like no one, including the courts, have the courage to take this matter up. Let anything be the outcome of the investigation, but let it be investigated," Mushrif contended.

"I get the feeling that each and everyone is trying to drop the issue and give it a quiet burial. I know that the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) is extremely upset with this book. But they would not ask for a ban on it either. If they seek a ban, then the case has to be investigated, and if this is done, more facts are bound to crop up. Hence they would want a quietus on the issue," he noted.

"However, I will not let the issue die down. The matter today is in the high court and I will wait for some more time for the court to take it up and also for the government to file its reply. In case I feel that they are also skirting the topic and trying to bury this part of the case, then I will go up to the Supreme Court seeking a probe into this angle of the case. Some court in India has to take a decision on this or else it would be unfair and un-democratic," he added.