Furore over Digvijay's remarks

BJP says statement on Karkare blow to fight against terror; Cong not to join issue

In an interaction with reporters, Singh claimed that Karkare had talked to him about a threat to his life from those opposed to his probe into the Malegaon blast in which Hindu extremists were accused.

“When I called him he said, he was receiving some threat calls”, Singh said adding Karkare was a “little depressed” that top leaders of the BJP including Rajnath Singh were questioning his integrity. Singh said he talked to Karkare hours before the latter was killed in a shoot-out with militants on the night of 26/11 attacks.

After Singh’s remarks invited concerted criticism from the opposition, he did not get any backing even from his home turf for the controversy he created.

Another Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi when pressed for reaction, said, “There is no question of agreeing or disagreeing. It is regarding a conversation between two individuals. Unfortunately one of them, Karkare, is no more with us. So Digvijay Singh will be in a better position to comment on his statement.”

Dwivedi said it appeared that Singh personally knew Karkare, whose family hailed from Madhya Pradesh. “Singh has made that private conversation public in a programme and the party has no role in it. Hence only he can comment on it. The party has nothing to say on it,” he added.

The BJP criticised the neutral stand taken by the Congress and demanded a clarification from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Singh’s comments. BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said Singh’s statement had given leverage to terror elements like Taliban, Lashkar and the ISI “who are saying, why are we being framed in 26/11 when a senior Congress leader is questioning the killing of Karkare”.
“The country’s security, fight against terror and investigations into the 26/11 attacks case has suffered a serious blow due to the comments. Terrorists from across the border will question the entire 26/11 attacks,” Prasad said.

He saw a “deliberate design” behind the comment, saying, “it is an attempt to distract the embattled UPA and Congress party, which is facing a barrage of corruption charges. Congress is finding itself seriously handicapped”.

“Today, Digvijay has emboldened the terrorists across the border. He has not done this for the first time... After the Batla House encounter, he had visited Azamgarh (to meet families of the accused) and now he is indirectly helping terrorists from across the border, who will question the 26/11 attacks.”

Kavita Karkare rubbishes claim

Kavita Karkare, the wife of slain Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, on Saturday slammed senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh for claiming that her husband feared for his safety from hardline Hindu groups, who were upset over his probe into the Malegaon bomb blast, reports PTI from Mumbai.

Karkare accused Singh of playing votebank politics and denied that any conversation had taken place between her husband and Singh, as claimed by  the Congress leader. “When my husband was investigating the Malegaon blast and was looking for a Hindu accused, there were reactions from Hindu organisations. Similarly, when earlier he was looking for a Muslim accused, there was reaction from that community,” she said, adding such reactions were natural. Kavita said it was wrong to suggest that Hindu groups were linked to the 26/11 terror attacks.

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