Book Review - Who killed Karkare? by S.M Mushrif, (Retd.) IG of Police, Maharashtra
Managed to get a copy of the book from a lending library. I was interested in this book for a long time, since people who wanted to prove that Islamic terrorism does NOT exist in India, uses this book as The Bible. The book has broadly 11 chapters, and the chapters dealing with bomb blasts & terror attacks have a distinct pattern of narration.
1. What caught my attention was that the book straight away begins with a lot of assumptions. The word "Brahminist"
comes up in the very first chapter itself, and this would be the most repeated word in the entire book. The author starts with the declaration that there exists a set of people - the "Brahminists"
who seems to be present all across India, and have many a public entity firmly in its control. The "Brahminists"
looks like the Opus Dei folks in the "Davinci Code" book.
2. In the starting few chapters the author also states that Intelligence Bureau, right from its early days were under the control of "Brahminists"
. And he goes onto state that the R&AW does not seem to have this "problem" as it was formed much later. Without stating any specific reasons, incidents or court reports the author states that IB seems to be an organisation which can even make governments dance to its tune.
3. Now that the book has "proven" that there exists this secret gang of evil "Brahminists"
and that they control IB, which in turn controls the government of the day; the next chapters deal with various terrorist incidents and bomb blasts etc. These chapters follow a peculiar pattern. The author lists out a series of news paper articles (the headline of the report, the news paper and the approximate date), talking about the case. And the discrepancies in these news reports are used to prove that the police stories are not matching up. The author relies totally on news paper reports, and not even compares it with the police records like charge-sheets etc. The news paper reports generally get a day-to-day briefing from their sources in the police, and gladly report that as the "gospel truth". But in the subsequent days, the investigation may go on a different direction. Mushrif considers this as a "cover up", by the IB under instructions of the "Brahminists"
4. What I found as surprising is that the author being a police officer does not seem to rely on any of the official documents which the police would have used (including scene mahassars
, FIRs, charge sheets, evidences, forensic reports) to prove his point. But he purely relies on a very unreliable source in India; the main stream media.
5. The chapters related to the Malegaon blasts is interesting. The author proudly states that this time the case was getting investigated by a "god fearing" police officer Hemant Karkare. To be honest, Hemant Karkare did seems to have got good evidence on the involvement of Hindu right wing elements. He had worked on the leads and even had picked up a few retired Army officials. The ATS under Karkare seems to have got some good evidence on the activities of people like Col. Purohit and Pragnya Singh Thakur etc. This could be one chapter (Chapter 5 - Malegaon bomb blast 2008) which requires much more detailed study and analysis.
6. Chapter 6th - who killed Karkare is a very lengthy one and deals with the Mumbai blasts. Again this report too relies on news paper reports, and the recordings of wireless messages (of Mumbai Police that day) which were telecasted by some media channels. The author using news paper reports state that around 16 CCTV cameras at Mumbai CST was not working that day, and this was a pre-planned move by the IB. He also quotes a statement made by Kasab that he was instructed NOT to kill Muslims, but in the casualty list from CST the majority of victims were Muslims (and could be easily identified by dress, beards etc.). He then uses these two points to "prove" that it was IB who used some rogue criminals to arrange and execute the CST shoot out. As per Mushrif, Kasab was some Pakistani who was picked up from Nepal by Indian agencies much before. The book how ever is silent on one important point - Kasab's capture, and the death of ASI Tukaram Omble
. Perhaps that incident does not fit in the conspiracy theory of the author.
7. The book also mentions that as per some news reports the terrorists at Cama Hospital did ask a few questions in Marathi to one staff out there. And he was not killed (even when identified as a Hindu). As per the book Hemant Karkare who was at his home at Dadar got the message of the shoot out, and decided to proceed to the spot. Mushrif tries to prove that all instructions to Karkare seems to have been delivered over mobile phone, as in the wireless chatter between "King" (Com.Pol Mumbai) and "Crime" (Jt. Commisioner, Crime) they did not seem to know of the exact location of "Victor" (Hemant Karkare as ATS chief). The author tries to prove that Karkare was kind of lured into the area by calls made to his cell phone. But the fact is that a large city like Mumbai would have multiple police channels (for each zone - under a DCP, plus other channels for special units and senior officials). That being said Karkare (and his wireless operator who reported that they have all been shot) could be on the appropriate zone channel, where as "King" and "Crime" would be on another channel for senior officials. This chapter also requires much more detailed reading (and note taking) - to understand the time lines etc.
What makes this book a bit peculiar is that it seems to be written on a specific agenda, and then evidences & inferences are all listed down to prove the agenda. It is more like one of those detective novels where the author knows who is to be the criminal, but then draws up a complex story line to keep the readers guessing. The second point is that even when written by a police official, no official police records have been analysed and then gaps in the police version are listed out. The author always relies on media reports, when pretty much the whole of India now know how reliable they are. The book also tries to paint the Intelligence Bureau (IB) as some sort of secret cult/organisation who seems to be so powerful that even elected governments are unable to control them. But considering other reports about IB, and the way they operate, it seems to be an incorrect inference. And then the "Brahminists"
are supposed to be even so powerful to control the IB