New Delhi : Minority Affairs Minister A.R. Antulay raised a storm Wednesday by suggesting that slain Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare was a “victim of terrorism plus something” and that his killing Nov 26 during the Mumbai terror attacks could be linked to his probe into the Malegaon blasts.
“Superficially speaking they (terrorists) had no reason to kill Karkare. Whether he (Karkare) was a victim of terrorism or terrorism plus something I do not know,” Antulay told reporters here.
“Karkare found that there are non-Muslims involved in the acts terrorism during his investigations in some cases. Any person going to the roots of terror has always been the target,” Antulay maintained.
“There is more than what meets the eye,” Antulay added.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quick to latch on to what it termed the minister’s “obnoxious” remarks, saying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should clarify the issue.
“The remarks are obnoxious and deserve a clarification from the prime minister,” BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
Antulay’s remarks also led to frayed tempers in the Lok Sabha with Shiv Sena member Ananth Geethe and other opposition members demanding Antulay explain his remarks.
The Maharashtra ATS has charged 11 people, including Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and a serving Indian Army officer, Lt. Col. Shrikant Prasad Purohit in connection with the Malegaon blasts Sep 8, 2006 which killed 37 people and injured over 125.