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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Malegaon blasts case: Mumbai’s Hemant Karkare was honest and competent, say 2 ex-top cops

Several senior Mumbai police officers said it would be “immoral” to question Karkare’s credentials and sling mud on his career

mumbai Updated: Sep 04, 2017 09:26 IST
Farhan Shaikh
Farhan Shaikh
Hindustan Times
Former Mumbai police anti-terrorism squad chief Heman Karkare.
Former Mumbai police anti-terrorism squad chief Heman Karkare.(HT FILE)

The allegations on social media questioning the Mumbai police anti-terrorism squad chief Heman Karkare’s investigations into the 2008 Malegaon blasts have not gone down well with officers who knew him well. Karkare, who was killed during the 26/11 terror siege of Mumbai and was awarded the Ashok Chakra posthumously, is well-regarded for his professionalism and honesty.

The innuendoes that began when Sadhvi Pragya Thakur was given bail in April this year reached a crescendo when Lt Col Prasad Purohit was granted bail on August 21.

The former Mumbai police commissioner Julio Ribeiro, said Karkare walked into his office a day before 26/11 attacks with the files of [2008 Malegaon blasts] investigation. “He came to me one day before he was killed. He brought a policeman along with him with all those files. I told him I don’t have the time to go through those files. I believed him. Why should he unnecessarily implicate Purohit? He did not know him before,” said Ribeiro.

Calling Karkare an “honest and a competent officer” whom the country “should be proud of”, Ribeiro said, “The job of the police is to disclose the facts – that is our dharma and Hemant did exactly that.” “They want him to get him because it is according to their ideologies and not based on truth and facts. I take strong objection to sullying a good man’s name to merely uphold an ideology,” added Ribeiro.

Several senior Mumbai police officers, who asked not to be identified, said it was up to the courts to give a verdict and that it would be “immoral” to question Karkare’s credentials and sling mud on his career.

“I was not closely involved in the Malegaon blast investigation but I know Karkare very well. I have worked with him. The man is absolutely above board, he is a man of integrity. Whatever investigation he would have done, would have been the right thing… I can say that blindly. Political pressures apart, he would have done what was right and nothing wrong. Saying this and that against him is not appropriate now that he is no more,” said D Sivanandan, former Mumbai police commissioner.

In the end, the court’s verdict in the terror case will be based on the facts. Sivanandan pointed out, “While governments change, the facts remain the same.”

First Published: Sep 04, 2017 09:25 IST

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