Breaking her silence 11 years after her father was killed in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, Jui Navare, daughter of former Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, has said that she wants everyone to remember that “even in his death he was trying to save his city, his country” and that he placed his uniform before his own life and family.
Speaking to The Sunday Express from her home in the United States, Navare said she read about the statement made by the 2008 Malegaon terror-accused and BJP Lok Sabha candidate Sadhvi Pragya Thakur about her father “on social media”. “I do not want to dignify her or her statement. I only want to talk about Hemant Karkare. He was a role model and his name should be taken with dignity,” Navare said.
“He taught us that terrorism has no religion. No religion teaches anyone to kill each other… it’s the ideology that has to be defeated. In his life, in his 24-year career in the police, he helped everyone. Even in his death, he was trying to save his city, his country. He loved his uniform and placed it before us and before his own life. I just want everyone to remember that,” she said.
Navare, 38, is the eldest of Karkare’s three children and is settled in the US with her husband and their two daughters.
Two weeks ago, after being named as the BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal, Pragya Thakur had claimed that Karkare, who was leading the investigation in the Malegaon case, had died after she cursed him.
In October 2008, a month before the Mumbai attacks, the Maharashtra ATS under Karkare had arrested 11 people, including Thakur, in the Malegaon case.
Navare said her father was “completely occupied” with the (Malegaon) investigation and her mother always “feared for his life” because she “was very worried about the case and its implications”. Karkare’s wife died in 2014 after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
“On the case, I fully supported his findings. I knew whatever he did would be correct. He was an officer who went by the book. I know him as a daughter… A person like him would always ensure justice. It was always obvious for me… I never vocalised it,” she said.