Mumbai:The Bombay High Court on Friday postponed the hearing of a petition seeking a fresh probe into the death of then Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, an official said here.
The matter, which will be posted for hearing after the summer vacation, will be argued by the union government before filing its reply, said Mehmood Pracha, the petitioner’s lawyer.
The petitioner, former Bihar legislator Radhakant Yadav, has based his plea on a book penned by former senior Maharashtra IPS officer S.M. Mushriff, claiming that a conspiracy was hatched by Hindu fanatics in the killing of Karkare during the terror attacks.
Seeking a SIT to probe Karkare’s death from this angle, Yadav has alleged that a right wing group Abhinav Bharat, whose name had cropped up during the investigations into the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast, wanted to get rid of Karkare.
Karkare had solved the Malegaon blast case and was planning to arrest more people.
Yadav further contended that the intelligence bureau (IB) had prior knowledge of the November 26, 2008 terror attacks, and Abhinav Bharat, in alleged connivance with the IB, launched a parallel operation to kill Karkare near Cama Hospital in south Mumbai.
“Karkare was deliberately sent to the spot where he and others were ambushed,” the petitioner claimed, and the Mumbai Police Crime Branch tried to ‘cover up’ the identity of victims of the blast in a taxi that night (26/11) in Vile Parle as some Abhinav Bharat members were reportedly among the dead.
Yadav further claimed that the 10-member Pakistani terror group did not kill Karkare as their names did not figure in the telephonic intercepts between the terrorists and their handlers in Karachi.
One of the top officers of the state police, Karkare was killed along with his colleagues, additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar when they were ambushed in the early hours of November 27, 2008, during the height of the terror attacks at multiple locations in south Mumbai in which 166 people, including many foreigners, were killed.
During the 60-hour-long operation, nine terrorists were gunned down by the combined security forces, while one terrorist Ajmal Kasab was nabbed alive from Chowpatty, in the early hours of November 27, 2008.
He faced trial in the Indian courts which found him guilty and he was finally hanged in Pune’s Yerwada Central Jail on November 21, 2012.