Anand Patwardhan's 'Reason' Asks Disturbing Questions About Hemant Karkare's Death - By Shamik Bag - IAMC
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Anand Patwardhan’s ‘Reason’ Asks Disturbing Questions About Hemant Karkare’s Death – By Shamik Bag

By the time ‘Terror and Stories of Terror’, the penultimate chapter in filmmaker Anand Patwardhan’s latest documentary, Reason, begins, viewers are already primed to look out for the leitmotif that signals yet another murder—a revving motorbike and gunshots piercing the silence of the night. In Reason, which is divided into eight chapters, these sounds ominously precede the killings of rationalists, political activists and intellectuals such as Narendra Dabholkar, MM Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Gauri Lankesh.

In this particular chapter, the person at the receiving end of the gunshots is Hemant Karkare, the former chief of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) who was killed while battling Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.

Recently, almost 11 years after his death, Karkare made headlines again after Pragya Singh Thakur, the BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal who is also a terror suspect currently out on bail, accused him of torturing her in custody and shockingly claimed that it was her curse that led to the killing of the police officer…. The controversy that erupted then, and which continues to fester, has put the spotlight back on Thakur; her bête noire Karkare; the contentious issue of Hindu terror and extremism in India; and the mystery and conspiracy theories that still surround the death of Karkare.…