Kavita Karkare nails Digvijay Singh’s ‘lie’

published on December 11, 2010

Pioneer News Service | New Delhi/Mumbai

Congress lgeneral secretary Digvijay Singh’s bid to once again rake up the controversy over slain Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare’s death by suggesting the involvement of Hindu extremists fell flat on Saturday with none other than Karkare’s wife herself rubbishing his claims and asking him to stop playing vote-bank politics. She not only denied that Karkare ever spoke to Digvijay but also asserted that her husband was killed by Pakistani terrorists.

The BJP termed his remarks as “irresponsible” and a “serious blow” to India’s fight against terror even as it sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s clarification on Singh’s statement. The Shiv Sena pilloried Digvijay for making “very serious” and “equally foolish” statement about late Karkare. But the Congress was quick to distance itself from Digvijay’s remarks saying only he can explain it.

A visibly upset Kavita Karkare, however, slammed Digvijay for claiming that her husband feared for his safety from hardline Hindu groups, which were upset over his probe into the Malegaon bomb blast.

“Hindu organisations had nothing to do with my husband’s death. He died while battling Pakistani terrorists and in the process, he sacrificed his life for the country. Singh’s statement is baseless. I don’t agree with his claims about my husband. He is making use of my late husband’s name for political reasons. He has not spoken even once to the families of the police officers martyred in 26/11 attack,” Kavita, widow of the ATS chief who was killed in the Mumbai terror strikes, told mediapersons.

“Such statements will mislead people and benefit Pakistan. Mockery of my husband’s sacrifice for political gain should stop,” she said.

“When my husband was investigating the Malegaon blast and was looking for Hindu accused, there were reactions from Hindu organisations. Similarly, when earlier he was looking for Muslim accused, there was reaction from that community,” she said, adding such reactions were natural.

She accused Digvijay of playing vote-bank politics. She denied any conversation had taken place between her husband and Digvijay, as claimed by the latter.

Digvijay had on Friday claimed that Karkare had called him hours before the 26/11 terror strikes, saying that he feared for his safety from Hindu extremists. On Saturday though he changed tack saying it was he who had called up Karkare.

Digvijay said at that time he had “some information that some people were questioning Karkare’s integrity…..Among them there were top leaders from BJP, including Rajnath Singh. He was little depressed about this”.

Taking a strong exception to the Congress general secretary’s “unfortunate” remarks, BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “The country’s security, fight against terror and investigations into the 26/11 attacks case has suffered a serious blow due to Digvijay Singh’s comments. Terrorists from across the border will question the entire 26/11 attacks. Terrorists from across the border and their patrons are going to lap it up.”

Prasad maintained that Digvijay’s statement has given much leverage to terrorist elements like Taliban, Lashkar and ISI “who are saying, why are we being framed in 26/11 when a senior Congress leader is questioning the killing of Karkare”.

“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,” he added.

Maintaining that he saw a “deliberate design” behind Singh’s comment, Prasad said, “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”.

On his part, Shiv Sena spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut said, “We not only condemn Singh’s statement, but also demand a comprehensive inquiry into his remarks vis-à-vis late Karkare.”

“In the past, senior leader AR Antulay had demanded to know about the call that Karkare had received last before he was killed in the 26/11 attack. Now, I would like to know if the last call was made by the Congress leader,” Raut maintained.

With pressure mounting, Digvijay sought to undo the damage. He said he did not say that RSS was behind 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and that he has absolutely no doubt that Karkare was killed by Pakistani terrorists. He also said it was not the first time that he had spoken about the private conversation he had with Karkare. He said he had mentioned this even during a book release function on December 6.

“Digvijay has made that private conversation public in a programme and the party has no role into it. Hence, only he can comment on it. The party has nothing to say on it,” party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told mediapersons, in a clear indication of the Congress distancing itself from the controversy.

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