When asked about this he denied the report and said, "I have not sent any letter to PM or Sonia Gandhi. Nor I have met either of them. I do not owe an explanation to anyone." Earlier, reports suggested that Antulay had written to the Prime Minister after the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) met to discuss the issue. There are even reports that the party was considering action against the Minority Affairs Minister. Congress sources said that Antulay's comment is taken as a breach of the party line and is likely to face action.
On Wednesday, Dec 17, Antulay had raised doubts over the killing of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare by Pakistani terrorists, suggesting a link with the Malegaon blasts that were investigated by him. He told the journalists that Karkare knew many things which were not meant to be known about the Malegaon blasts. This might have gone against him.
Opposition parties including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attacked the minister for his 'misdemeanour' and demanded immediate clarification from the Prime Minister, but the Congress party distanced itself saying those were his 'personal remarks'.
Meanwhile there was an uproar in the Maharashtra Assembly over the minister's remarks. Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Thursday, Dec 18 ruled out a probe into A R Antulay's remarks.
Opposition Leader State Home Minister Jayant Patil said in the Assembly that all the three top police officers, Karkare, Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte and Encounter Specialist Vijay Salaskar were killed by terrorists on the night of Nov 26. Ramdas Kadam and others welcomed the statement by Home Ministe by thumping the desk.
OneIndia News (With input from Agencies)