Cong distances itself from Digvijay`s remarks on Karkare

Congress on Saturday distanced itself from party General Secretary Digvijay Singh`s controversial remarks that the slain Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare had told him that he feared for his safety from Hindu extremists.

Last Updated: Dec 11, 2010, 18:38 PM IST

New Delhi: Congress on Saturday distanced
itself from party General Secretary Digvijay Singh`s
controversial remarks that the slain Mumbai ATS chief Hemant
Karkare had told him that he feared for his safety from Hindu
extremists.

"There is no question of agreeing or disagreeing. It
is regarding a conversation between two individuals.

Unfortunately one of them Karkare is no more with us. So
Digvijay Singh will be in a better position to comment on his
statement," party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told
reporters.

Dwivedi said it appears that Singh personally knew
Karkare, whose family hailed from Madhya Pradesh and the slain
IPS officer had called him due to his personal association.

"Singh has made that private conversation public in a
programme and the party has no role into it. Hence only he can
comment on it. The party has nothing to say on it," he added.

Singh today stoked a controversy with his claim that
Karkare had called him hours before the 26/11 terror strikes,
saying that he feared for his safety from Hindu extremists,
triggering a strong reaction from the BJP.

Reports had it that the Congress leader had made
similar remarks during an interaction in a book release
function in the national capital a few days back.

Singh claimed that Karkare had talked about a threat
to his life from those opposed to his probe into the Malegaon
blast in which Hindu extremists were accused.

"When I called him he said, he was receiving some
threat calls. He did not know who was calling. An article was
published in a magazine linked to RSS against his son. It
alleged that his son had got some Rs 50 crore contract from
Dubai while his son was just 17-years-old," he said.

Singh said that Karkare was a "little depressed" that
top leaders of BJP including Rajnath Singh were questioning
his integrity.

"After Malegaon blast, we nabbed people about whom I
had prior knowledge. They were involved in terrorist
activities. They were involved in (Mau) bomb blast and Bhopal
bomb blast. I knew all these", Singh, a former Madhya Pradesh
Chief Minister, said.

Singh noted at that time he had "some information that
some people were questioning Karkare`s integrity.....Among
them there were top leaders from BJP, including Rajnath Singh.
He was little depressed about this."

He said investigating agencies should look into all
the matters.

BJP slammed Singh for his "irresponsible statement"
on Karkare, saying it was a "serious blow" to India`s fight
against terror and an attempt to divert attention from scams
facing the UPA.

Explaining his remarks, Singh later said he did not
say that RSS was behind 26/11 Mumbai strikes and that he has
"absolutely no doubt" that Karkare was killed by Pakistani
terrorists.

"I do not want to politicise this. I haven`t said
that RSS is behind 26/11. I have absolutely no doubt that he
was killed by Pakistani terrorist but BJP leaders including
Rajnathji had questioned integrity of Karkare.

"The fact remains that Karkare was harassed by BJP
leaders," he said.

PTI