'Only Quoted,' Says Congress Leader Vijay Wadettiwar As Controversy Sparks Over His Remarks On Hemant Karkare's Death

'Only Quoted,' Says Congress Leader Vijay Wadettiwar As Controversy Sparks Over His Remarks On Hemant Karkare's Death

The BJP alleged that the Congress did not believe that the 2008 terror attack on Mumbai was inspired by Pakistan despite the mass of evidence produced before the trial court.

S BalakrishnanUpdated: Monday, May 06, 2024, 09:16 PM IST
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Police officials have brushed off Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar's controversial claim that Anti Terror Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare was shot dead by a Mumbai police officer and not Pakistani terrorists Ajmal Kasab and Ismail Khan in 2008.

At a press conference on Saturday, Wadettiwar had approvingly quoted from a book by  retired inspector-general of police Shamsuddin Mushrif titled "Who Killed Hemant Karkare?" in which the cop had claimed that the ATS boss died from a bullet fired by a Mumbai police officer. Mushrif later identified the police officer as Sanjay Govilkar.

However, officials closely linked to the investigation of the terror attack said each and every bullet which pierced Karkare's body were forensically examined and they matched the automatic weapons used by Kasab and Khan. "Not a single shot was fired on him by Govilkar or another member of the Mumbai police. Mushrif is making a totally wild and baseless allegation," a senior official told the FPJ on Monday.

Mushrif's Claims And Congress's Embarrassment

Incidentally, a PIL was also filed by an activist in Bombay High Court in the wake of Mushrif's book, but finally it was dismissed. Mushrif had stated that Govilkar had links with the RSS which was linked to the Malegaon blast, which was being probed by Karkare. The suggestion was that Govilkar wanted Karkare from digging further into the Malegaon blast case. But, Mushrif has not produced a shred of evidence to support his claim. Karkare's wife Kavita too had no doubt in her mind that her husband was gunned down by the Pakistanis.

Meanwhile, Wadettiwar's statement has vastly embarrassed the Congress. The BJP alleged that the Congress did not believe that the 2008 terror attack on Mumbai was inspired by Pakistan despite the mass of evidence produced before the trial court. The BJP pointed out that  the Congress had questioned the authenticity of Indian armed forces' bombing of terror hideouts in Pakistan and one of its leaders Mani Shankar Aiyar had even gone to Pakistan and sought Islamabad's help to overthrow the Modi government. The BJP has complained to the state election commission against Wadettiwar.

BJP Slams SHiv Sena (UBT) Chief Uddhav Thackeray Over Congress leader's Controversial Statement

The BJP also slammed Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray's silence over Wadettiwar's controversial claim. Stung by the criticism  in the evening Shiv Sena (UBT) spokesperson Sanjay Raut informed mediapersons that his party was convinced that Karkare was shot dead by the Pakistani terrorists and that he became a martyr. He said the RSS and Karkare had their differences with regard to the probe into the Malegaon blast. But there was no doubt that Karkare was killed by Pakistani terrorists Ajmal Kasab and Ismail Khan.

On Monday, Wadettiwar, who was pulled up by the party leadership, tried to distance himself from his own statement by saying that he "only quoted" from Mushrif's book.

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