While India is passing through its 15th general elections, at the same time the only alive terrorist caught in the Mumbai terror attack on November 26 (26/11) last year, is facing trial. The whole nation is desperate to see him hanged. People like me are of the view that he should be publicly hanged at gate way of India in front of the Taj hotel building which witnessed one of the horrible terror attacks on India, so that the world community can see the consequence of challenging the nation’s unity, integrity & prosperity. Hopefully, soon the trial would be completed & he would be hanged.
When we talk about the 26/11 attacks, it becomes imperative to remember those five police officers who along with their fourteen colleagues, lost their lives in fighting the terrorists. One important name among them is of the 1982 batch, Indian Police Services (IPS) officer, 54 years old Hemant Karkare. Karkare was the chief of Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). He served the police force for 26 years. He too worked as a Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) officer in Austria for seven years. He came into limelight when he unmasked an alleged saffron network of terror by arresting Lt. Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit, sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, & self styled godman Dayanand Pandey in connection with Malegaon bomb blast. But perhaps the self appointed contractors of the saffron politics didn’t like it. Instead of supporting the rule of law, these so called hypocrite nationalists started targeting Hemant Karkare. When sadhvi, in her affidavit to the court, alleged her harassment by the ATS, especially its chief Hemant Karkare, the people sympathetic to sadhvi started publicly criticizing the ATS & its chief Karkare.
The so called nationalist organisations like Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) & Shivsena assumed the allegations of sadhvi as true, ignoring the repudiation of allegations by Karkare. These saffron organizations, even the BJP’s ‘Prime Minister in waiting’ Lal Krishan Advani, supporting the sadhvi demanded inquiry into the allegations. The BJP president Rajnath Singh & other leaders of the party demanded that there should be the Narco Analysis test of Karkare, who got performed the tests on sadhvi. Some so called ‘nationalists’ called Hemant Karkare, the agent of the Congress & some alleged him of working under someone’s pressure. Whereas according to the whole team of the ATS, Karkare used to direct his personnel that in order to make the case effective, they don’t indulge in collecting any wrong or baseless evidences. He would say that the whole case should be inquired with full transparency, honesty & impartially & it is the court to decide the fate of the accused. But all clarifications by Karkare were ignored by the saffron ‘nationalists’ & they started accusing Karkare. Consequently, he was hurt by the fake accusations on him. According to J.F. Ribeiro, former Police Commissioner of Mumbai, Karkare was so much tensed by the false allegations put on him. Another former IPS officer Sudhakar Suradkar, who daily used to meet Karkare during morning walk, told that Karkare seemed to be perturbed after the false allegations on him & it seemed that he was facing mental strain.
Pride of the nation, this police officer was trying to get complete the inquiry into Malegaon Bomb blasts & had just arrested eleven people in this connection, meanwhile the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai occurred by some trained Pakistani terrorists. Hurt by the criticism of the fake nationalists, this brave officer once again, filled with true nationalism went to the spot of attack to fight terrorists. To counter the terrorists quickly, he lead his colleagues. Fighting them, he was hit by the bullet of a terrorist & this brave officer martyred protecting his nation. This martyrdom of Hemant Karkare shut the mouths of the hypocrite ‘nationalists’. Those leaders who accused Karkare of being partial in the Malegaon investigation & supported the culprits of the blast, had nothing to say.
Currently, the face of development of the BJP, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi announced the financial help of one crore rupees to the family of the martyr. By doing so, he tried to participate in the nationwide sympathetic wave in favour of Karkare & also tried to veil the criticism of Karkare by the BJP just two days before his martyrdom. But the family of Karkare, by rejecting the offer of the financial help proved that martyrdom can’t be measured in terms of money. Besides the message given by Karkare’s family was that those who criticized & doubted the impartial working of Hemant Karkare, need not show any sympathy now.
Four phases of elections are left yet. Once again the so called ‘nationalist’ forces which raised the finger on the impartial working of martyr Hemant Karkare, are going to people for votes. Somewhere the ‘Hindutva’ is being propagated & somewhere votes are being asked in the name of ancient culture & civilization & somewhere by showing the picture of development. Different formulae are being used to garner votes at different places, according to suitability. The main aim of all this is to get power. The main proof of it is the declaration of ‘Prime Minister in Waiting’, far before the elections, in a democracy, that too in the era of coalition politics. Now it is for the Indian voter to ask these self styled ‘nationalists’, what was their basis of questioning the honesty of Hemant Karkare? What was their objective behind it? And also, who are the true nationalists? People like Hemant Karkare, who lost their lives for nation, or these fake nationalist leaders who look the working of martyrs like Hemant Karkare with partiality and dividing the nation on the name of religion.
TANVEER JAFRI is a member of Haryana Sahitya Academy and a columnist. He can be contacted at tanveerjafriambATgmail.com