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Rediff.com  » News » 'Insulting 26/11 Martyrs Will Backfire On Congress'

'Insulting 26/11 Martyrs Will Backfire On Congress'

By PRASANNA D ZORE
Last updated on: May 18, 2024 11:15 IST
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'Why is the Congress not tendering an unconditional apology to the citizens of India?'

IMAGE: Devendra Fadnavis, the Bharatiya Janata Party's senior Maharashtra leader, third from right, with the BJP candidates from Mumbai, Mihir Kotecha (North East), second from right, Piyush Goyal (Mumbai North), left, and Ujjwal Nikam (North Central), second from left, at a rally on Maharashtra Foundation Day. At right is Ashish Shelar, president of the BJP's Mumbai unit. Photograph: ANI Photo
 

Ujjwal Nikam, who was the special public prosecutor at Pakistan terrorist Ajmal Kasab's trial, is the Bharatiya Janata Party's candidate from the Mumbai North Central constituency.

"Ujjwal Nikam is known for his truthful ways, outspokenness, and audacity when he fights for seeking justice for those who have been victims of heinous crimes," Nikam tells Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com in the first of a two-part interview.

How do you find the transformation from being a special public prosecutor, some would say a controversial one, to someone, who is now contesting the Lok Sabha election as a BJP candidate from the Mumbai North Central seat?

During the initial period when baseless, nasty and false allegations were levelled at me I felt very disappointed. I couldn't believe how one could make such nonsensical allegations against me by someone who is a supposedly responsible leader of the Opposition and a senior Congressman.

How could Vijay Waddetiwar call me a traitor, anti-national and so many wild things without having any evidence about it?

During my 45-year legal career I fought cases only against criminals, anti-social elements and terrorists and the whole state and country was appreciating me.

The moment my candidature was declared, the leader of the Opposition (Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar) not only made these wild and unsubstantiated allegations against me, but also insulted the 166 departed souls who were brutally massacred by Pakistani terrorists in the November 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai.

Ajmal Kasab in his judicial confession admitted that when he and Abu Ismail came outside the Cama Hospital they saw one police jeep was coming from the opposite direction in a deserted lane next to it.

Kasab and Ismail then opened fire on the jeep and there was exchange of fire. After some time the firing stopped from the police jeep.

So they (Kasab and Ismail) went near the police jeep and found that two police officers sitting on the front seat were dead and on the rear seat (then Anti-Terror Squad chief Hemant Karkare and another police constable) were dead.

The two police officers on the front seats were Senior PI (police inspector) Mr (Vijay) Salaskar, who was driving that jeep, and IPS officer Ashok Kamte.

This is not only the judicial confession of Ajmal Kasab, but this story was reiterated by other eyewitnesses and also Constable Arun Jadhav, who was also present inside that jeep and whom the two Pakistani terrorists thought was also dead.

This story was completely accepted by Pakistan.

What political mileage do you think your opponents are getting by raking up such controversies? And how do you look at the Congress saying that it was Vijay Waddetiwar's personal belief and that it did not support it?

This is again a big drama of the Congress party. If they are really unhappy with this statement, then they should have tendered an apology to the country as well as an apology to all the people who died and were injured in the 26/11 terror attack.

By disowning Wadettiwar's statement, the Congress cannot shirk off their duty of apologising to the nation.

Insulting 166 departed souls will backfire on the Congress on May 20 (the day Mumbai votes).

Wadettiwar and the Congress not only insulted Ujjwal Nikam, but also insulted every citizen of India by making such foolish allegations.

On the very next day he (Wadettiwar) took a U-turn when he clarified that he said what he had said based on a book by (retired IPS officer) S M Mushrif (Who Killed Karkare?: The Real face of Terrorism in India), who was not present on the where spot Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar were killed.

He (S M Mushrif) was not in the investigation team and was also not present in Mumbai when these 10 Pakistani terrorists attacked Mumbai.

So, his book is based only on conjectures, surmises and guesses. I am not taking any cognisance of what Mr Mushrif said in his book because no Indian is going to believe his statement.

But still the leader of the Opposition makes such a reckless statement which shows that his homework is poor. He wanted some cheap popularity by making such frivolous allegation. But this will backfire on the Congress party and its allies in the May 20 election.

The Congress and Wadettiwar only gained bad name and bad publicity. Wherever I'm moving in m constituency the people are condemning his statement and the Congress.

Why is the Congress not tendering an unconditional apology to the citizens of India?

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PRASANNA D ZORE / Rediff.com
 
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