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Karkare Told Me Of Hindu Fanatics' Threat Hours Before His Death, Says Digvijay

New Delhi, Dec 11: Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh stirred a hornets' nest today by claiming that martyred  Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare had told him two  hours  before his death that he was getting
PTI December 11, 2010 16:48 IST
New Delhi, Dec 11: Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh stirred a hornets' nest today by claiming that martyred  Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare had told him two  hours  before his death that he was getting threatening calls from Hindu fanatics.  Hours later, Karkare was killed in a hail of bullets from Lashkar terrorists in Mumbai on November 26.
Singh also demanded that the Varanasi blast probe should be handed over to National Investigation Agency and it should not remain  with Uttar Pradesh police.
Digvijay Singh told Indian Express: "On November 26, 2008, at 7 pm, just about two hours before the attacks in Mumbai started, Hemant Karkare, the slain ATS chief rang me on my mobile and told me how his family and his life were blighted by constant threats from people annoyed by his investiagtions into the Malegaon blasts.
"Woh pareshan the, and he told me he was trying to trace the calls, but was depressed and worried by threats and personal attacks made in their newspapers.
"Karkare also told me that he was hurt that in a paper, the moutpiece of a Hindu rightwing organization, allegations wre being made that my son was minting money in Dubai, when in reality he was only a school student in Mumbai. "
Digvijay Singh said he knew Hemant Karkare as his family was associated with Chhatarpur in Madhya Pradesh. He said that Karkare's father was posted as a railway officer before moving to Nagpur and they often talked.
"I was so shocked and demoralized on being told of his death in the attacks in Mumbai late at night on November 26, that my initial reaction was, 'Oh God, they have killed him'. It was only alter that I found out about other events taking place in the city on that dreadful day."
On December 6, Digvijay Singh had shared these revelations with the audience at a function to launch "RSS ki Saazish - 26/11", authored by Aziz Burney, editor-in-chief of Urdu Sahara newspaper.
Present at the function were Rajya Sabha deputy chairman K Rahman Khan and three MLAs from Delhi, Shoaib Iqbal, Chaudhry Mateen and Asif Mohammed Khan. Also present were Maulana Mehmood Madani, the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Hind chief Maulana Tauqir Raza Khan from Barelvi sect and Lucknow's Shia leader Maulana Kalbe Jawaad.
The moderator was Akhtarul Wasey, director, Zakir Hussain INstitute of Islamic Studies at Jamia Millia University.
In Mumbai, Hemant Karkare's widow Kavita Karkare said "to say that my husband was martyred by Hindu fanatics and not Lashkar terrorists is a travesty of truth".
Kavita Karkare asked the government not to make a mockery of her husband's martyrdom and ensure that the perpetrators of 26/11 are punished soon.
In Delhi, Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily said this could be Digvijay Singh's personal view, but Congress has nothing to do with his view.
The BJP described DIgvijay Singh's opinion as 'irresponsible' and said that such opinion would raise the morale of Pakistani and Pak-sponsored terrorists. The party demanded an explanation from the Prime Minister and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The BJP also charged that Congress leaders were resorting to diversionary tactics to deflect the growing public anger over corruption towards such issues.    

In Mumbai, Shiv Sena today criticised  Digvijay Singh for his statement saying his statements were condemnable and warranted a detailed probe.

If Karkare's life was under threat, why did he speak only to Singh and not to the then Maharashtra Chief Minister and Home Minister?" Raut said.

 He said Singh's comments confirm the belief that Congress leaders were controlling the Malegaon blast probe and it was being done to malign Hindu groups.

"If it is true that Karkare had spoken to Singh, why did the Congress General Secretary hide the information for two years?" the Sena MP said.

"It should be made public what else did the two talk about. Singh should be subjected to a probe," he said. The Sena leader also said why had Singh never called upAshok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar, the other two police officers who were killed in the 26/11 attacks. PTI