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Here is what RVS Mani, bureaucrat of Congress era, has to say about Hemant Karkare and his involvement in ‘Saffron terror’ narrative

It is indeed a fact that Hemant Karkare martyred in the line of duty while showing exemplary courage during the Mumbai attacks. It is also true that several questions have been raised not just by insider RVS Mani and victim Sadhvi Pragya, but several others about his conduct and collusion in the concoction of the 'saffron terror' lie

Sadhvi Pragya, the sannyasin who was jailed, tortured and hounded by the Congress government in order to concoct a fallacious theory of ‘saffron terror’ has formally joined BJP and is all set to contest from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh against Digvijay Singh, who was one of the foremost proponents of the saffron terror theory.

While Sadhvi Pragya’s candidature and her foray into politics ruffled some feathers and the “neutral” commentators came out of the woodworks to rain hate on her, it comes as no surprise that if anyone would be blunt about the Congress dispensation and how they concocted the saffron terror theory and their partners in crime in this misadventure, it would be Sadhvi Pragya.

Sadhvi Pragya blamed Hemant Karkare, the officer who was killed during the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack of colluding to further the saffron terror narrative and keeping her falsely and illegally imprisoned. She said that when Karkare was told by someone in the investigative agency that Sadhvi should not be held without proof and that her detention is illegal, he said that he will get proof from somewhere, even if he has to create it, to keep her in jail. She also said that Karkare had been killed because she had cursed him.

The outrage on Sadhvi Pragya’s statement from the usual elements in the media was shrill.

However, beyond the “liberal” self-serving outrage, one needs to evaluate what has been alleged against Karkare. For that, we can rely on the account of an insider. RVS Mani is a former bureaucrat who worked as an undersecretary in the Home Ministry during the Congress era. In his book ‘Hindu Terror’, Mani has illustrated and explained the entire collusion and the players who colluded to create the ‘saffron terror’ narrative and how, senior Congress leaders and several others were involved in the conspiracy.

With reference to Hemant Karkare too, RVS Mani makes some startling revelations in his book.

RVS Mani describes his first encounter with Hemant Karkare in his book ‘Hindu Terror’.

RVS Mani talks about his meeting with Hemant Karkare after the 2006 bomb blast at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur. He said he was working in Internal Security at the time and he was summoned by the Home Minister, Shivraj Patil. When he was ushered in, he saw Digvijay Singh in Shivraj Patil’s chamber and Hemant Karkare. He writes that Hemant Karkare and Digvijay Singh were interrogating him while Shivraj Patil watched unconcerned. They asked him several questions about the blast and RVS Mani writes that Hemant Karkare and Digvijay Singh were “not too happy with RVS Mani’s information that a ‘particular religious group’ was involved in most of the terror attacks.

He writes that from the conversation in the room, they were not happy that according to intelligence inputs, Muslims were aiding terrorists. He says that there were repeated references to Nanded, Bajrang Dal etc in their conversations.

He further talks about Nanded blast and says that this was the first case in which ‘Hindu terror’ term was first used.

RVS Mani raises several questions on why Digvijay Singh and Hemant Karkare were as close as Singh had claimed.

RVS Mani writes, “It may be interesting to recall that Digvijay Singh had later claimed in a media report that he was in personal touch with the police officer who was in the room of the Union Home Minister along with him at that time and obtained specific information on the Nanded attack. Singh had also declared the personal mobile number of this police officer in the media. This can be verified from media reports”.

He further writes, “What was intriguing, which no one from the media or otherwise at that time asked, was: what was the relationship between a political leader and an Indian Police Service Officer of a neighbouring State cadre? Indeed, having been the Chief Minister of a State, Singh might have known many a police officer from his own State. But to be so friendly with a serving IPS officer of a neighbouring State is something that begs an answer. Without imputing motives to any individual, what was the police officer doing with a politician of a neighbouring State? AIS Conduct Rules expressly proscribe general hobnobbing of All-India Service personnel with political leaders except in the discharge of functions”.

RVS Mani in his book says that it was immediately after this that “Hindu Terror” bogey came into the record where it was claimed that one Sameer Kulkarni of Nanded was allegedly storing explosives in his workshop, which exploded on 20.4.2006.

In another part of the book, RVS Mani says that when Hemant Karkare was ATS chief, the evidence that Ahl-e-Hadith/Hadees were involved in the Malegaon blast was just tossed aside and the narrative was changed completely. Mani says that it was around this time that reports of the involvement of Hindu organisations were sent from Mumbai ATS to the Home Ministry and Sadhvi Pragya was named the prime accused. He says he is not aware whether the motorcycle, which was the prime evidence according to ATS (and was later explained as sold by Sadhvi Pragya) was planted or not but the time taken by the ATS raised questions. He says that during Mumbai blasts, it took the ATS over 5 months to make arrests while in the Malegaon case, the arrest of Lt Col Purohit took only 35 days.

Of course, it was later reported by the Media that NIA had reached the conclusion that the RDX was planted by Maharashtra ATS to frame Col Purohit.

It is indeed a fact that Hemant Karkare martyred in the line of duty while showing exemplary courage during the Mumbai attacks. It is also true that several questions have been raised not just by insider RVS Mani and victim Sadhvi Pragya, but several others about his conduct and collusion in the concoction of the ‘saffron terror’ lie. The truth perhaps lies somewhere in between. But the ‘liberals’ trying to silence the voice of Sadhvi Pragya, who was tortured, jailed and hounded, is certainly not going to get us closer to the truth.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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