The response came soon after the then Minority Affairs Minister AR Antulay said that the death of ATS Chief Hemant Karkare may not have been due to the 26/11 attacks. But might be due to his probe into the Malegaon blast contrary to widely believed among the public. Karkare was responsible for the arrest of the accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Indian Army officer, Lt. Col. Shrikant Prasad Purohit, who were part of Hindu extremist groups.
Mulford says in the leaked diplomatic cables, “The Congress Party, after first distancing itself from the comments (of Antulay, the then minority affairs minister), two days later issued a contradictory statement which implicitly endorsed the conspiracy. During this time, Antulay's completely unsubstantiated claims gained support in Indian-Muslim community". Mulford had written this in the secret cable to the State Department on December 23, 2008.
"Hoping to foster that support for upcoming national elections, the Congress Party cynically pulled back from its original dismissal and lent credence to the conspiracy. The entire episode demonstrates that the Congress Party will readily stoop to the old caste/religious-based politics if it feels it is in its interest," he added.