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Digvijay Singh sparks new storm with Karkare remark

Saturday December 11, 2010 09:34:25 PM, IANS

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Karkare's widow slams Digvijay's comment

Kavita Karkare, widow of slain Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, Saturday slammed Congress leader Digvijay Singh for claiming that Karkare called him   »

Mumbai/New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh Saturday stirred a fresh controversy with a claim that Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare had, in a telephobne call hours before being killed in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, said to him that Hindu groups had threatened him. Karkare's widow and the BJP slammed Singh's remarks, while an uncomfortable Congress said they were Singh's "personal" comments.

Singh said that Karkare called him up a few hours before he was killed in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and told him about threats from Hindu organisations as he was probing the Malegaon blast case in which some Hindu groups were allegedly involved.

Hemant Karkare's widow Kavita speaking to reporters Saturday, asserted that "no Hindu outfit" was connected with her husband's killing. "Pakistani terrorists killed my husband, Digvijay Singh is wrong."

"Do not link his death with threats from Hindu organisations. The statement can mislead people," she added.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad, reacting to Singh's remarks, said: "His comments are unfortunate, and we condemn it."

"The country's security, fight against terror and investigations into the 26/11 attacks case have suffered a serious blow due to Digvijay Singh's comments. Terrorists from across the border will question the entire 26/11 attacks," Prasad told reporters in New Delhi.

"Terrorists from across the border and their patrons are going to lap it up," he said.

Prasad also alleged that Singh was making such statements to gain political mileage.

"He should not compromise with the country's security, and he is the one who went to Azamgarh (in Uttar Pradesh) and fetched a lot of criticism, and the Congress had to apologise," Prasad said about Digvijay Singh.

Singh had gone to Azamgarh where many of those involved in the Sept 13, 2008, Delhi serial bombings belonged and spoke to their families.

The Congress, attempting to wriggle out of the controversy, said Singh's remarks were of "personal" nature as Singh and Karkare knew each other.

"Digvijay Singh and Hemant Karkare knew each other personally because of their Madhya Pradesh connection. Their talks were also personal and I suppose he (Singh) has not made these comments as spokesperson of the party. Definitely, the party would not like to comments on this," Congress spokesperson Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.

Karkare hailed from Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

Dwivedi said the "private conversation" between the two was made public by Singh 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," the party spokesperson added.

Speaking to reporters Saturday, Singh said that Karkare was "pained" over criticism by some BJP leaders of his (Karkare's) role in probing the alleged involvement of some Hindu groups in the Malegaon blast.

"I came to know of the criticism... Rajnath Singh and others were putting questions on his credibility. He was pained," Singh said.

Earlier too, Singh has created controversies with his comments - questioning the Batla House shootout with terrorists after the Sep 13, 2008, serial bombings in New Delhi, visiting Azamgarh, and questioning the home minister's handling of the Maoist problem as a security issue.






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