Friday, 17 December 2010

Digvijay Singh reignites controversy over Karkare's killing

Slain ATS chief Hemant Karkare
Congress leader Digvijay Singh's statement has reignited the debate over the mysterious circumstances in which former ATS chief Hemant Karkare was killed during the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai.

Of course, Singh didn't mean that 26/11 was planned by the so-called Hindu terrorist groups but the fact that Karkare was killed during the terror attack on Indian soil by Pakistani terrorist groups, gave the impression that Digvijay was accusing Hindu organisations for planning the attack.

Digvijay was speaking at the function to release a book written by journalist Aziz Burney that suspected the role of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the Mumbai terrorist strike. The book is named '26/11-RSS ki Saazish'. Naturally the Congress leader can't plead absolute innocence.

While the theory of Hindutva organisations' involvement in 26/11 is totally absurd and ruled out, the conspiracy theory about Karkare's killings has many more takers than we believe. This issue hasn't been discussed in mainstream media.

Many of us squirm when someone raises the same suspicion that the groups who were upset with revelations in Malegaon blast case found an opportunity and bumped off Karkare. He had arrested Abhinav Bharat's Pragya Thakur and this had angered the Sangh Parivar.

Digvijay wasn't wrong when he said that Karkare was getting threats. This is a fact that he had been threatened and was facing increasing pressure. Even a senior BJP leader like LK Advani had spoken on behalf of Pragya Thakur.

Karkare's jacket had also gone missing. It was not clearly established who had asked the officers to reach the Cama Hospital. The reluctance of police in providing details of another slain police officer's wife Vinita Kamte led to more suspicions. The missing bullet proof jacket added to the controversy.

It is not too surprising for many to believe that a sniper killed Karkare and his fellow policemen. Conspiracy theories exist everywhere in the world.

When a radical group with links to RSS could plot Mahatma Gandhi's assassination, another right-wing militant group may have planned to target Karkare. It is not as implausible either.

At least, at a theoretical level a section can smell rat. In America, there are a large number of citizens who still believe that 9/11 was not the work of terrorists but a sort of 'inside job'. They are free to believe but the outrage is unnecessary.

It is better if a proper investigation is conducted as per the recent High Court directive. As far as political parties are concerned, BJP gets exceptionally angry at such charges because it has to protect its mother organisation, RSS.

As far as Congress is concerned, if Digvijay Singh keeps making such statements, it his stock that will fall among the electorate as popular opinion doesn't seem to be in favour of those floating the conspiracy theories.

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