Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur, the BJP’s candidate from Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal, filed her nomination papers on Monday. Singh’s decision came as surprise for many as the party had scheduled Tuesday i.e. tomorrow for the formality. News Nation has learnt that Thakur cited ‘shubh muhurat’ (auspicious timing) for her decision. No big leader was present at the time of the nomination. The 48-year-old is pitted against former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Digvijiya Singh. There are reports that the BJP took the decision under the pressure of its ideological parent body RSS.
Thakur courted controversy over her ‘shraap’ remark against Ashok Chakra winner Hemant Karkare. But that has not deterred the top BJP leadership in supporting her. Meanwhile, BJP chief Amit Shah defended the party's decision to nominate Thakur as a Lok Sabha candidate saying the allegations against her are false and the real culprits in the Malegaon blast case have evaded the law.
Sadhvi Pragya, who is out on bail in the Malegaon blast case of 2008, has been fielded by the BJP from Bhopal constituency. "It is absolutely a right decision. The allegations against her are baseless. Nothing against her or Swami Aseemanad have been proved," Shah said while addressing a media conference in Bengal.
Claiming that the "real culprits" were let off after being arrested, he said, questions should be asked why they were released. Speaking on the contentious NRC and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Shah said refugees need not worry as after returning to power, the BJP will first bring the bill in Parliament and then implement the NRC across the country to weed out infiltrators.
Last week, addressing a gathering of BJP workers at Manas Bhawan auditorium in Bhopal, Thakur, who spent several years in jail after being arrested in the case, alleged she was illegally detained and beaten up by police personnel.
"Jab Mujhe Lekar Gaye, Gair Kanooni Taur Par, 13 Din Tak Rakkha, Pahle Hi Din Bina Kuchh Poochhe, Unhone Mujhe Bulaya, Itna Chauda Belt (showing size by her hand), Ek Belt Se Hath Sooj Jata hai, Doosre Belt Me to Hath Fat Jata Hai. (Police illegally detained me for 13 days. They called me and beat me with a wide belt. Hands get swollen just by one hit of the belt. The second strike can tear hand)," she said. "Ye Jo Belt Marte The, Poora Nervous System Dheela Pad Jata Tha, Sunn Pad Jata Tha, Ye Din Aur Raat Hota Tha. (The strike of belt makes nervous system go blank, this happened day and night)," she said in a choked voice.
"They used to hurl filthy abuses, would threaten to hang me upside down, undress me. I am not narrating my pain in front of you, I am just saying no other sister should face this kind of ordeal," Thakur said, wiping her tears. The Hindutva activist claimed the police wanted her to admit that she was involved in the blast in Malegaon, a town in Nashik district of neighbouring Maharashtra. "They want me to accept that I carried out the blast and killed Muslims...they tortured me entire night, the people who beat me changed in the morning but I remained the same," she had said.