Congress’ Vijay Wadettiwar sparks war of words with ’Kasab didn’t kill 26/11 hero Hemant Karkare’ remark - Story so far

Hemant Karkare was killed in action during the 2008 Mumbai attacks and was posthumously given the Ashoka Chakra in 2009.

Written By Arshdeep kaur
First Published5 May 2024
BJP candidate from Mumbai North Central constituency Ujjwal Nikam with Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and party leader Devendra Fadnavis during rally for Lok Sabha polls
BJP candidate from Mumbai North Central constituency Ujjwal Nikam with Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and party leader Devendra Fadnavis during rally for Lok Sabha polls(PTI)

The leader of the opposition Maharashtra legislative assembly, Vijay Wadettiwar's claim that late ATS chief Hemant Karkare was “not killed by terrorists during the 26/11 attack” snowballed into a political slugfest with the ruling Shiv Sena and BJP in Maharashtra calling the Congress a terrorist sympathizer. 

Karkare was killed in action during the 2008 Mumbai attacks and was posthumously given the Ashoka Chakra in 2009.

Ajmal Kasab was the only one of the 10 Pakistani terrorists who attacked Mumbai in 2008 and killed 166 people, to be caught alive. He was placed in a Mumbai jail for nearly four years and hanged in Pune in November 2012.

Here is all we know about the controversy so far: 

What did Vijay Wadettiwar say about Ajmal Kasab?

Vijay Wadettiwar purportedly called BJP's Ujjwal Nikam an "anti-national" and accused him of hiding the information that then Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare wasn't killed by Kasab's bullet during the 26/11 terror attack, but fell to a bullet of a policeman who was affiliated to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

However, issuing a clarification on his statement that stirred controversy, Wadettiwar said his allegations were based on the book "Who Killed Karkare" written by retired police officer SM Mushriff.

"Those are not my words. I just said what was written in the book by SM Mushrif. Every (piece of) information was there about the bullet by which Hemant Karkare was shot. It was not the bullet of terrorists," he said.

Also read: 'Marathi people not welcome': Outrage over biased job requirement in Mumbai; Netizens say, ‘not the 1st time’

'Opposition is worried about Ajmal Kasab'

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “As per opposition leader Vijay Waddetiwar, Ujjwal Nikam insulted Kasab.” 

"Kasab terrorised the city and the Congress is worried about him. Mahayuti is supporting Ujjwal Nikam and MVA is supporting Kasab. Now you decide who you should vote for," he added.

‘Congress promotes terrorism’ 

Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction) Secretary and Spokesperson Kiran Pawaskar said the Congress is not a party that prevents terrorism "but promotes it." 

He highlighted the history of alleged terrorist incidents that occurred across India during the Congress regime, underscoring the compromise of national security during that period.

“Terrorist attacks took place from Kashmir to Kanyakumari during the Congress period. The internal security of the country was compromised. During the tenure of the UPA government for 10 years, there were major terrorist attacks in every metropolis of India,” Pawaskar said. 

During this period, there were bomb blasts in cities like Mumbai, Pune, and Malegaon. What's more, the Congress government was in power at the time of the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai," he added.

Also read: ‘No one can call India 'banana' nation': BJP's Mumbai North Central candidate Ujjwal Nikam praises PM Modi

Demand for a public apology 

Shiv Sena's Kiran Pawaskar demanded that Vijay Wadettiwar issue a public apology to the martyrs of the 26/11 attack and the entire police force for his derogatory remarks. 

He also said that Wadettiwar would be detained by the National Investigation Agency and questioned for defending the 26/11 terrorist.

"Vijay Wadettiwar should be detained by the NIA and a thorough investigation should be conducted as to why he is defending terrorist Ajmal Kasab," he said.

Also read: ‘Gaumutradhari Hindutva’: Uddhav Thackeray slams BJP, promises to reclaim 'lost glory of Maharashtra'

'Busy giving clean chit to Pakistan'

Shiv Sena leader Milind Deora said the remarks are shameful while claiming that Congress is busy giving "clean chit to Pakistan".

“It is a very shameful statement. During the 26/11 attack, I saw the pain, suffering and terror that the people of South Mumbai, Maharashtra and India had to witness. Why are they trying to appease Pakistan and blame one community?” Deora told news agency ANI. 

"As an Indian, a responsible leader from an Opposition party is making this statement for the second time from the same party and giving a clean chit to Pakistan," he added.

‘What else do we expect?’

Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar said that nothing more can be expected from people who have always worked against the interest of the country.

"Unfortunately, a person who has lived up to protecting the Constitution and democracy in this country is being accused of such baseless allegations. People who have always worked against the interests of the country. What else do we expect from such people?" he said.

 

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HomeElectionsCongress’ Vijay Wadettiwar sparks war of words with ’Kasab didn’t kill 26/11 hero Hemant Karkare’ remark - Story so far

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