Bullet-proof jackets not inferior: Ashok Chavan

June 6th, 2009 - 12:36 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, June 5 (IANS) In the line of opposition fire for allegedly providing sub-standard bulletproof jackets to the Mumbai police, including those who fell to terrorists’ bullets during 26/11, Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan Friday said they were “wild allegations”.
“These are wild allegations, baseless,” Chavan told the CNN-IBN news channel Friday night.

To allegations by the brother of slain Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare that he would probably not have died in the Mumbai attacks last year but for the inferior jackets, Chavan said the jackets were a protection against bullets fired from a distance and not at close range as during 26/11.

“The jackets are not meant for close range (fire),” he said, adding that Karkare had been killed due to bullet injuries to his neck and head, which were not covered by the jacket. He also said the jackets were not meant for facing AK-47 bullets.

Speaking to the news channel a day after the opposition parties created a ruckus in the assembly alleging a scam in the purchase of the jackets, Chavan said: “Let the opposition give me proper evidence.”

Shirish Karkare, the brother of Hemant Karkare, told the channel that he had seen blood on the jacket, which proved that the AK-47 bullets had gone through it.

On Thursday, opposition leader Ramdas Kadam had criticised the state government over the “poor quality” jackets and even offered his bullet-proof jacket as a “gift” to the chief minister.

Kadam accused the home department of providing “the police with inferior jackets during the 26/11 terror attacks” and demanded a judicial probe into the purchase of bullet-proof jackets.

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