Who Killed Karkare? The Real Face of Terrorism in India, by S M Mushrif, the former IG police, Maharashtra, was first published in 2009. Since then a ‘Revised edition’ in 2009 and three more editions have already been published and the fourth edition is now being sent to the bookshops. The book has attracted unprecedented attention. The author has shared his long investigative observations with his readers. His findings are a source of surprise, even shock, for many Indians and Pakistanis.
The former IG police of Maharashtra has carefully traced the beginning of the communal conflict to 1893 and the exploitation of the conflict for political purposes. He has asserted that the communal conflict is a tool of Brahiminists to subjugate common Hindus. In the author’s words, “This book is a research work based on my long experience in the police service and in the social field, and on the reports published in newspapers and periodicals in respect of communalism and terrorism during the last few years. The main objective of this book is twofold: one, to seek answers to many questions in regard to communalism in India that had been nagging me throughout my life, especially after I joined the police service, and two, to put on record the yeoman service rendered by late Hemant Karkare to the nation by exposing an anti-national terror plot.”
In the process the author puts on record his findings of the following bomb blast investigations: 1) Mumbai train blast 2006; 2) Malegaon bomb blast 2006; 3) Ahmedabad bomb blast 2008; 4) Delhi bomb blast 2008; 5) Samjhota Express bomb blast; 6) Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blast 2007; 6) Ajmer Sharif Dargah blast 2007; 8) Serial blasts in the UP courts 2007; 9) Jaipur blasts 2008; 10) Nanded bomb blast 2006; 11) Malegaon bomb blast 2008.
The last two have been analysed in detail. The last one, i.e. Malegaon blast 2008, holds the key. Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare led a completely impartial, intensive and very professional investigation. It was the Malegaon investigation by Hemant Karkare and his team of Mr Kante and Salaskar, which led to the most startling revelations. It established beyond doubt that all the blasts referred to in the book were the handiwork of Hindutva extremists. The group of planners and executors started with the Intelligence Bureau (IB) of India, and included Lieutenant Colonel Purohit of Abhinav Bharat, Sadhvi Pragya Singh of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), and others from Jagran Munch, Bajrang Dal, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and many other members of the Sangh Parivar, plus a bunch of ‘Swamis’ for religious cover. The methodology was fairly clear: the explosives were sourced through Lieutenant Colonel Purohit and his associates like Major Upadhyay, the training provided by Bhonsla Military Academy, a private organisation associated with Mr Kalkarni (Mr Kalkarni’s hate speeches against Muslims and Pakistan can be seen on YouTube). Many details of the crimes and the perpetrators were revealed in the narco tests of Lieutenant Colonel Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh and subsequently verified by Hemant Karkare and his team of investigators from the ATS. The political cover to these operatives was provided by the BJP as a political necessity to consolidate Hindu extremist support. The Sangh Parivar provided the very large network of media contact. The operations were planned, executed, and reported as the work of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) with Pakistan involvement and this fake news was spread immediately so that the public perception recognises the ‘villain’. Later, the investigation would be taken over by the IB on the plea of “international involvement and sensitivity” and the prime minister briefed accordingly. The IB would thus cover up. This system worked well for them until Hemant Karkare of RAW took over.
Hemant Karkare found out the real perpetrators of the terror attacks and was taking them to court with solid evidence; a case had been filed in the Nasik Court of Maharashtra. The situation was critical; the whole terror network in India composed of Hindutva extremists was going to be brought into the open and convicted. The life of the criminals, activists, perpetrators and accomplices was in danger. The politics of the BJP was in danger. The covert operations of the IB were at risk.
Hemant Karkare had to be immediately eliminated along with the key members of his team.
At this point, as the author says, a God-given opportunity arrived. The IB with its connections with the FBI found out that a terror attack was planned by Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) operatives, with the involvement of an American ‘David Headley’.
The information was available almost one week before the Mumbai carnage. The attackers were to come through the sea on the boat named ‘Kuber’. Every movement of the Kuber was known to the IB. However, the incident of the Mumbai carnage was allowed to happen by suppressing the information. The Indian Navy denied having received the information. Possibly they could have apprehended the terrorists and saved thousands of lives in Mumbai from being affected. The author infers that, in the cover-up of the Mumbai terror attack, Hemant Karkare and his team members were to be eliminated.
The author supports his finding with the skill of decades of investigative experience. He lays bare the suspicious circumstances in which Hemant Karkare was led to Rang Bhavan lane near Mumbai’s Cama station, where the killers were waiting for him.
The author does not buy the involvement of Kasab in this case. He even questions the identity of Kasab. Who is he? Ajmal Kasab’s name does not appear in the duty roster of the ship ‘Kuber’! The author demands an independent enquiry into the murder of Hemant Karkare and that it should not be mixed up with the Mumbai carnage.
Who Killed Karkare? is perhaps the most bold and credible book written on the terror networks in India. It should be respected and benefited from to eliminate the sources of terror there. Terror hurts humanity; Indians or Pakistanis are the same when attacked. The price of the book is on the higher side. Its Urdu and Hindi versions are also available in India.