Posing several questions to the Maharashtra government on its investigation in the November 26, 2008, attacks in the city, the Bombay High Court asked whether there was a system failure in passing information and whether the police investigated the alleged ‘deep rooted conspiracy’ behind the death of former Anti-Terrorism Squad’s chief Hemant Karkare.
A division bench of justices BH Marlapalle and UD Salvi also asked the government whether there were any more terrorists in the city, plotting more attacks. “Citizens have the right to know. Are there going to be more (26/11 like) attacks?” asked justice Marlapalle.
The questions were posed during hearing in two petitions – one by former Bihar MLA Radhakant Yadav and other by one Jyoti Bedekar – alleging that Karkare’s death was orchestrated by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) personnel and members of ‘right wing terrorist outfit’ Abhinav Bharat.
As per court directives, former inspector general of police SM Mushrif was present in court. One of the petitions is based on his book – Who Killed Karkare?
The judges asked public prosecutor Pandurang Pol whether the police had investigated, based on call records surveillance, whether there were two modules operating that night.
Then MTDC chief, Bhushan Gagrani, had given a statement that one of his staff had overheard a terrorist speak in Marathi. “If it was a Marathi-speaking terrorist, then he didn’t come from Pakistan,” said Marlapalle.
The judges pointed out that police had put surveillance on 35 SIM cards, of which three were traced in Maharashtra – two in Satara and one in Raigad. The owners said they lost the cards. “Why did the police stop at that?” asked Marlapalle.
The court said there was intelligence sharing failure on part of the IB with the Maharashtra State and Western Naval Command. Pol said: “The IB receives intelligence inputs on daily basis and most of them are false, so we don't act on all of them.”