A complaint has been filed with the Election Commission on Friday against BJP candidate and Malegaon Blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur over her controversial remarks on 26/11 terror attack martyr and former Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief Hemank Karkare. Pragya, who is fielded by the BJP from the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, earlier in the day, courted controversies, saying Karkare was killed during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks because she cursed him.
Confirming the news, Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) told ANI, "Complaint received against BJP Lok Sabha candidate for Bhopal, Pragya Singh Thakur, for her comments on 26/11 martyr (former Mumbai ATS Chief Hemant Karkare). Cognizance taken. The matter is under enquiry".
Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer: Complaint received against BJP Lok Sabha candidate for Bhopal, Pragya Singh Thakur, for her comments on 26/11 martyr (former Mumbai ATS Chief Hemant Karkare). Cognizance taken. The matter is under enquiry. (File pic of Pragya Singh Thakur) pic.twitter.com/CiHl0a1WgDâ€” ANI (@ANI) April 19, 2019
Karkare had lost his life along with two other senior police officers while fighting terrorists during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in November 2008. Pragya, however, claimed that Karkare died just 40 days after she cursed him.
"I called Hemant Karkare and asked him to let me go if there is no evidence (against me). He (Karkare) said that he will bring evidence but will not leave me. I told him â€” You will be ruined. And within 40 days, he was killed by terrorists," she said. Thakur, the newly-inducted BJP leader also accused Karkare of abusing and torturing her.
Pragya, who is among the seven accused facing trial in Malegaon blast case, on Wednesday joined the BJP and is pitted against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh from the Bhopal parliamentary constituency, which is scheduled to go to polls in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections on May 12.
On Thursday, a Malegaon blast victim's father and a political activist moved the special NIA court and the Election Commission respectively seeking barring of prime accused Pragya from contesting the Lok Sabha polls.
The application before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai was filed by Nisar Sayeed, who lost his son in the blast in 2008. Sayeed pleaded that Thakur, who is out on bail, be asked to attend court proceedings in Mumbai and be barred from contesting the election as the trial is in progress.
Special judge VS Padalkar sought replies from both the NIA and Thakur and posted the matter for Monday.
The BJP, meanwhile, said it will contest the polls in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh as a fight against the alleged "conspiracy" by the Congress to defame Hindu religion by linking it to terrorism.
Six people were killed and over 100 injured in a bomb blast at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in north Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested Thakur and others in the case, alleging they were part of a Hindu extremist group which carried out the blast.
The NIA later gave Thakur a clean chit, but the court did not discharge her. It dropped charges against her under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, but she is still facing trial under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Indian Penal Code sections.