Friday, December 17, 2010

Why did Nagpur ATS halt Malegaon probe?

NAGPUR: The investigation into the Jabalpur-link in the Malegaon blast, triggered by a Hindu terror group in 2008, was being conducted by the city unit of state Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) in full steam. But the probe lost its zeal for the reasons best known to ATS after their chief Hemant Karkare was killed during the 26/11 attack in Mumbai.

Not much has been heard about the case again from the ATS officials. Karkare's death recently has triggered much controversy with Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, also former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, kicking up a storm claiming the hands of influential Hindu terror groups behind the elimination of the former ATS chief.

It took another turn after Karkare's widow Kavita lambasted Singh for playing politics with her husband's death. She said to imply that Hindu terror group had a hand in his killing when he was obviously killed by Pakistani terrorists was not right leading Singh to backtrack on parts of his remarks.

Karkare too was learnt to be under pressure during the probe into Hindu terror groups which he wanted to expose. The senior politician had claimed that Karkare had expressed his concern in a telephonic conversation with Singh shortly before latter's death.

Karkare's death was brought under scanner by SM Mushrif, retired inspector general of police, who in his book 'Who killed Karkare: The real face of terrorism in India' blamed the Hindu fascist forces in getting Karkare killed.

Whether it was owing to Karkare's death or under influence of explained sources, the local ATS unit too did not proceed further after having unearthed substantial network of Abhinav Bharat operating in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh in 2008.

The ATS sleuths were also in the process of probing the links of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, one of the main conspirators of the blast, with local businessmen from Jabalpur. Nagpur ATS had come across crucial details of a meeting that had taken place at Jabalpur in presence of Abhinav Bharat's local cadres. A member of the group Ashok Chawla was also netted and brought to city by ATS. The probe was halted thereafter and remains unheard of still.

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