Hemant Karkare was killed by bullet of RSS-liked police officer: Vijay Wadettiwar

A Maharashtra-cadre officer of the 1982-batch of the IPS, Karkare (54), a Special Inspector General of Police, was heading the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra police when the attack took place.
Last Updated : 05 May 2024, 08:05 IST
Last Updated : 05 May 2024, 08:05 IST

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Mumbai: In what snowballed into a major full-blown political issue, Maharashtra’s Leader of the Opposition and senior Congressman, Vijay Wadettiwar, claimed that senior IPS officer Hemant Karkare was killed by the firearm of an “RSS-linked” police officer and not by bullets fired by Pakistani fidayeen Mohamed Ajmal Kasab during the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.

Wadettiwar’s statement has put the Congress in an embarrassing situation as the party was in power in Maharashtra and the Centre at that point of time.

A Maharashtra-cadre officer of the 1982-batch of the IPS, Karkare (54), a Special Inspector General of Police was heading the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra police, when the attack took place.

Before coming back from central deputation, Karkare had served in the Research and Analysis Wing, the external intelligence agency.

Before the 26/11 attacks, he had investigated several sensitive cases like the series of blasts in Thane, Vashi and Panvel and the Navratri-eve blast on 29 September, 2008, had claimed the lives of six persons and injured 101 others at Malegaon in Nashik district.

In 2009, he was posthumously given the Ashoka Chakra, India's highest peacetime gallantry decoration.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Wadettiwar, a former minister and Brahmapuri MLA said: “Hemant Karkare was not killed by bullets of terrorists like Ajmal Kasab, but by a policeman close to RSS… Ujjwal Nikam, who appeared as special public prosecutor, is a traitor who suppressed this fact and BJP has given an election ticket to a traitor like him.”

However, on Sunday, when Wadettiwar, the leader of the opposition in the Assembly, was in Kolhapur, when asked, said: “What I have said has been written in a book by former police officer SM Mushrif.”

Incidentally, Mushrif, a former Inspector General of Police, is credited with exposing the Abdul Karim Telgi fake stamp paper scam.

After the 26-29, 2008 terror attacks, Mushrif wrote a book titled - “Who killed Karkare? The real face of terrorism in India”.

On his part, Nikam has reacted sharply to the incident. "What a reckless statement is being made. I am pained by such baseless allegations, raising doubts over my integrity. It clearly reflects the level of electoral politics. I never thought politicians would stoop to such low levels. For political gain? He (Wadettiwar) is insulting not me, but the 166 departed souls and all persons injured in the 26/11 attacks,” Nikam was quoted saying.

BJP leader and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said: “The Maha Yuti is behind Ujjwal Nikam…on the other hand Maha Vikas Aghadi is behind Ajmal Kasab..you have to choose with whom you stand."

Shiv Sena secretary and spokesperson Kiran Pawaskar strongly rebuked Wadettiwar's statements, emphasizing that the track record of the Congress suggests the promotion of terrorism rather than its prevention. "The Congress is not a party that prevents terrorism but promotes terrorism," he said.

Pawaskar further lamented the silence of Uddhav Thackeray, former Maharashtra Chief Minister, on this matter, insinuating a reluctance to address the issue for fear of upsetting certain communities.

"Wadettiwar should be detained by the NIA, and a thorough investigation should be conducted as to why he is defending terrorist Ajmal Kasab," he said.

Published 05 May 2024, 08:05 IST

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