No regrets for raising query on Karkare’s death: AntulayDecember 20th, 2008 - 10:42 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) Unfazed by criticism, Minority Affairs Minister A.R. Antulay Saturday said he had done his Congress party and the country proud by raising questions on the death of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, who was killed during the 26/11 attacks.“I stand by my statement and have no regrets. On the contrary, I have done my country and party proud by raising the issue of Karkare’s death. I have united the country through this,” Antulay told the CNN-IBN news channel in an interview.
“The people who twisted my statement should be embarrassed. I have not embarrassed my party and nation. And also I have never said (anything) about Malegaon or uttered ‘Malegaon’,” Antulay added.
“All I said (was) how Karkare, who was the best solider, went to the Cama hospital when there was nothing (there). The investigating agencies have to answer what made a brilliant officer to go in (the) opposite direction.”
Asked about his reported resignation from the cabinet, he maintained: “I can neither confirm or deny (the reports). I will act as per the directions of the prime minister and the party.”
Antulay said he had not played the votebank politics.
Participating in a debate in the Lok Sabha Wednesday on the Mumbai terrorist attack, Antulay had hinted that Karkare’s death could be linked to the Sep 29 Malegaon bombing he was investigating and in which members of Hindu radical groups are the main suspects.
“Superficially speaking, they (terrorists) had no reason to kill Karkare. Whether he (Karkare) was a victim of terrorism or terrorism plus something I do not know.
“Karkare found that there are non-Muslims involved in acts of terrorism in some cases. Any person going to the roots of terrorism has always been the target,” Antulay had said, adding: “There is more than what meets the eye.”
Despite the clamour for his removal getting louder, Antulay stood his ground.
While maintaining that Karkare and his two colleagues from the ATS were killed by the terrorists who attacked Mumbai Nov 26, he had said: “What I wanted to know was who directed them to drive towards Cama hospital when all the action was centred around the Taj, Nariman House and the Trident Oberoi?”