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‘Modi offered no compensation’

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had made no offer of any compensation when he called on the family of the slain Mumbai ATS chief...

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had made no offer of any compensation when he called on the family of the slain Mumbai ATS chief, Hemant Karkare, on Friday, his widow Kavita Karkare told The Indian Express on Saturday. Karkare’s family sources said Modi had dropped in on his own, after the dead officer’s kin had thrice told his officials that they had no wish to meet anyone.

Karakre’s widow and relatives were speaking to this newspaper while Modi is courting a controversy over reports that Kavita Karkare had declined to accept any part of the Rs 1 crore samman raashi that he had offered to the kin of the 14 cops killed fighting terrorists in Mumbai.

A family source said, “The state protocol officer called up first and we informed that we did not wish to meet anyone. Two more calls from Modi’s office followed and we responded the same way. Modi then came on his own and unannounced.”

Modi’s visit to the bereaved family has larger implications. After the Mumbai ATS, which Karkare headed, had claimed to have uncovered a full-fledged Hindu terror network behind the Malegaon bomb blast and arrested Lt Colonel Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya linked to the saffron brigade, Modi had repeatedly accused it of bias and had even alleged that the Army officer’s arrest by the ATS amounted to demoralising the Army at the cost of national interest. He had also claimed that the arrests were politically motivated, at the behest of the Congress.

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Kavita, however, said she wanted no controversy. “It is part of our culture to be hospitable to visitors, and Modi is an elderly person. He came home, sat in the living room for a while and then told my son Akash, aap ko koi madad chahiye to bataiyega. At no point did he mention anything about any monetary support, at least not to me,” Kavita told The Indian Express.

An official attached to Modi’s office in Gandhinagar said the Chief Minister could not meet the widow of the Maharashtra ATS chief, as she was in an inner room of the house. “So the CM garlanded Karkare’s photo kept in the room and came back. The CM announced Rs 1 crore as sammaan rashi in honour of all the 14 Maharashtra cops who laid down their lives. The money will be handed over to the Mahrashtra Government.”

First published on: 30-11-2008 at 02:26:14 am
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