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Antulay and Karkare: playing the Muslim Vote bank politics

At a Cabinet meeting in mid-July of 2006, two ministers, Arjun Singh and Abdul Rehman Antulay suggested that terror attacks in Mumbai then were the handiwork of Hindus and not Muslims (and therefore had no links to Pakistan). At that time Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Indian PM had asked them to “refrain from raising “divisive issues” in the Cabinet before bringing them to his attention.”[1]

AR Antulay, as he is popularly known, did an encore this week. He raised the issue of Hemant Karkare’s death to suggest that he may have been killed because of some kind of “behind the scenes” work of Hindu groups.

Now, the Indian Government has – based on the Constable Arun Jadhav’s statement, who was shot but alive and on interrogations from Kasab – said that Karkare, Kamte and Salaskar were killed when the terrorists opened fired on their vehicle. For Antulay to now come out and say stuff contradictory to what his own Government has been saying betrays mischief on part of either the Government or Antulay.[3]

Karkare, Kamte and Salaskar were all stationed outside the CST after news came in of indiscriminate firing at the busy railway station, said the constable. Soon, there was another report of two terrorists having fled from the station and barging into Madam Cama hospital behind the BMC headquarters.

All three officers decided to rush to Cama hospital. They piled into a Toyota Qualis, belonging to ACP Bhalerao, and made a dash for the hospital. Just as the vehicle reached the rear premises of the hospital, the two terrorists came running out. Seeing the approaching Qualis, they fired on it with their AK47 rifles. The officers did not have any time to react and were instantly felled by multiple bullet hits.

Interestingly, Pakistan’s game of obfuscation and confusion rests on MERELY (and ONLY) the so-called “circumstantial evidence” – the timing issue, as if the threat to Hemant Karkare was only ONE dimensional.

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It is somehow being projected that Hemant Karkare was some kind of an unknown guy whiling away his time in the force and suddenly hit upon this Malegaon investigation and so that was the ONLY threat he faced in life! If he was in Anti-terrorism Squad, then the chances are that he may have made enough enemies.

– So why single out ONE of the many?
– Or are we suggesting that is the ONLY worthwhile thing he did in his entire life?
– Or that the other enemies were somewhat benevolent and no matter what Karkare may have tried to do against them, they would have no grudge?

Just as a matter of record – Hemant Karkare was ALSO involved in probes related to Naxalite-infested Chandrapur district of Maharashtra and had worked in RAW in Austria for 7 years in a secret mission.[2]

Also, and VERY significantly, in an email dated August 23, Indian Mujahideen had singled out Hemant Karkare as a guy on their hit list. The email said – “Let us notify you, especially the top officials of the ATS like Hemant Karkare and allies that our line of attack has already been masterminded for you.”[4]

Now, Pakistani media and “analysts” are backing Antulay up and in Indian polity that is euphemism for Muslim support.. as if what is good for Pakistanis is also good of Indian Muslims.[5] That AR Antulay is a Muslim is bad enough! But probably that is what Antulay is playing with.. he is in no mood to retract his statement and has been getting secret support of other parties who play Muslim vote bank politics regularly. This will put Congress in a bind – as it is angry at him but may not be able to throw him out as well![6]

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Antulay is no stranger to playing the Muslims card and being a “Minister of Minorities Affairs”, I would be VERY interested in knowing how much of funds were used for Muslims versus OTHER Minorities?! If my experience of UP Minorities board is any indication, then in India minority usually simply equals Muslims. It may be good for some but I think it is very retrograde and communal thinking!

1. Pak hand, says NSA; Arjun, Antulay have a different take
2. Hemant Karkare – Wikipedia
3. 3 rode to death in same car
4. Indian Mujahideen had warned Karkare, ATS in emails
5. Support for Antulay building in Pakistan
6. Antulay’s conspiracy theory enrages Congress

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Desh Kapoor

The panache of a writer is proven by the creative pen he uses to transform the most mundane topic into a thrilling story. Desh – the author, critic and analyst uses the power of his pen to create thought-provoking pieces from ordinary topics of discussion. He writes on myriad interesting themes. Read the articles to know more about his views and “drishtikone”.

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