The first anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai attacks reminded us of an India lacking security measures. It was the day when three top level security officers including Anti Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare were gunned down during the worst ever terror siege in 2008.
A complete year has passed but it is said that the real handlers of the attack are still untraced. The kind of assault which would have been impossible without a local guide, the police had said was done without local support. However, the familiarity of the terrorists with the area they were operating in may be negating this.
Former chief of the elite National Security Guards (NSG) Jyoti Krishan Dutt recently said, “The familiarity came through stay in the area or through recce and visit to the area or by looking at video clips. It is a matter of investigation. But they were very, very familiar.” The latest suspects in 26/11 attacks Headley and his Canadian associate Tahawwur Hussain Rana are alleged to have laid the groundwork for the strike.
Besides, it is also important to note that one of the terrorists at Cama Hospital where ATS chief Hemant Karkare, (ACP) Ashok Kamte and inspector Vijay Salaskar were killed had spoken Marathi, the local language. One might still remember that prior to his murder; Hemant Karkare reportedly had received myriad calls threatening him to face dire consequences. According to the relatives, Karkare was hurt by this and was pondering upon to quit as ATS chief. Importantly, in the independent India, he was the first investigating officer who had unveiled a vast network of Hindu terrorists; allegedly responsible for several bomb blasts which were earlier imposed on innocent Muslims. Some experts suspect these very elements to be behind the assault in which Hemant Karkare and others were removed.
Those having switched on their TVs when massacre at CST was on still can see Hemant Karkare talking to someone on mobile and putting on bullet proof jacket. For quite a considerable time noting about him was aired. The shocking news which hit TV screens after some time was that Karkare was injured and then succumbed to injuries in a hospital.
The widow of the late ATS chief, Kavita Karkare some days ago alleged that when his body was found, the bulletproof jacket was missing and the Right to Information (RTI) application too had not yielded any information on its whereabouts. It not only raises question about the quality of jacket but also paves way to suspicion whether Karkare had jacket on his body when the bullets passed into his chest. A TOI report dated November 21, claims that Karkare was not hit at all on his chest. ‘Sources said all the bullets hit Karkare on his neck and shoulder and not a single bullet hit him in the front or rear side of the body which a normal bullet proof jacket covers.’ Yet, why the jacket was not preserved may be asked.
As per the media reports, the call-details of Karkare too are not available. It raises question because even the calls of a common man’s cell are recorded and may be produced when needed.
All the concerns rose by either the families of the martyrs or experts, should be given due attention to ensure a fair probe and punishment to those associated in any way to the 26/11 terror attack. The local link and the hand of those afraid of Karkare’s investigation cannot be ignored in this context.