The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded a high-level inquiry into the allegation that the Maharashtra government provided sub-standard bulletproof jackets to Mumbai Police officials including those who were killed while battling the 26/11 terrorists.
"There should be a thorough probe by a proper commission of inquiry," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shanker Prasad told reporters here.
The CNN-IBN television channel in its investigative report said Hemant Karkare, the chief of the Mumbai Police Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), fell to the terrorists' gun shots because his bulletproof vest was of poor quality.
It quoted his brother Shishir Karkare as saying that he had seen blood on the jacket, which, he said, proved that the AK-47 bullets had gone through it.
The BJP spokesperson said: "Hemant Karkare's brother Shishir Karkare had seen his brother in the hospital and this is a direct evidence of the (low quality of) wretched vests.
"When (party leader L.K.) Advani demanded an inquiry, (Home Minister) P. Chidambaram said there is no need for an inquiry," he said, reiterating the demand for a probe.
Advani, participating Friday in the debate on the president's address to the joint session of parliament, said in the Lok Sabha that an inquiry commission should be set up to probe the Nov 26 terrorist attack.
Asked about Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's explanation, he said: "What the chief minister says is sheer rubbish. The jackets should have been tested. These are subjected to periodical tests and scrutiny."
Chavan had said Friday that the jackets were not meant for close range gunshots and that the opposition should provide evidence of quality.
The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) run a coalition government in Maharashtra while the BJP and the Shiv Sena, partners in the National Democratic Alliance, are in the opposition.
On Thursday, state opposition leader Ramdas Kadam had criticised the Maharashtra government over the "poor quality" jackets and even offered his bulletproof jacket as a "gift" to the chief minister.