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Don't Play Politics With My Husband's Death, Says Kavita Karkare

PTI 13 Dec 2010, 7:47:47 IST
Mumbai Hemant Karkare's widow accused Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh of trying to play politics with her husband's death, and said she had no doubt that the chief of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) was killed by the Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists who carried out the 26/11 attack.She would have known if her husband felt threatened by anyone, Kavita Karkare told The Sunday Express.

Mrs Karkare was reacting to Singh's statements published in The Indian Express on Saturday — incidentally the eve of Karkare's birth anniversary — that two hours before the Lashkar attackers struck Mumbai on November 26, 2008, the ATS chief had called him to say that his (Karkare's) life was “blighted by constant threats” from people opposed to his probe into the Malegaon bomb blast, allegedly carried out by Hindu extremists.

Singh claimed that he knew Karkare's family from the time his father was a railway employee in Madhya Pradesh, and that the ATS chief had told him during their conversation that he was worried and depressed by threats and personal attacks in right wing newspapers and over the phone.Kavita Karkare rejected all of Digvijay Singh's claims.

“He (Karkare) did not get any threat calls. I am sorry, but I do not believe that Hindu extremists had anything to do with this,” she told The Sunday Express. “I would request everyone not to spread any such rumours. Let us strive for harmony and not make it a political issue anymore. There is no confusion. I am clear that my husband was killed by Pakistanis,” she said.

Speaking at the police quarters in the central Mumbai suburb of Dadar where she continues to live after Karkare's death, Mrs Karkare said her husband was, till the very end, extremely balanced and neutral in his investigation of the Malegaon blast.“For that very reason, I would not want to blame any religion. In our family too, Hemant and I never took a religious line on any subject,” she said.

Making “political statements” over Karkare's death was not in good taste, Mrs Karkare said, adding that this was, in fact, not the first time that such an attempt had been made.

“During the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections (last year), I was taken aback by political parties approaching me and even offering me money to speak to the media and make statements that suited them,” she said. “I was very clear that no such requests will be entertained. It is unfortunate that political intentions are playing with his death.”

Mrs Karkare, who teaches at a local college, recalled that during the days of the Malegaon probe, some “local reports” did indeed speak ill of her husband. “But Hemant never let any of that affect him,” she said.

However, their son moved to Pune to continue his studies in the aftermath of his father's death, because “Mumbai was becoming too difficult for him because of such talk”, she added.