Embarrassed BJP Says Pragya Thakur’s ‘Cursed’ Comment on Hemant Karkare Her Personal View
A statement released by the BJP stated Thakur might have made the statement "due to years of physical and mental torture" she suffered in police custody.
BJP candidate Sadhvi Pragya Thakur reacts while addressing a party workers' meeting in Bhopal on Thursday. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: The BJP failed to denounce its Bhopal candidate Sadhvi Pragya Thakur for her controversial comment that IPS officer Hemant Karkare died in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks as she had cursed him, and instead sought to offer a justification for it after a major controversy erupted on Friday.
A statement released by the BJP stated that what Thakur said was her “personal view”, which she might have made "due to years of physical and mental torture". "The BJP believes that Karkare died while bravely fighting terrorists. The BJP has always considered him a martyr," the party said in a damage-control exercise.
The party, which has fielded Malegaon blast accused Thakur from Bhopal in the Lok Sabha election, claimed she had suffered "physical and mental torture" for years in police custody that might have caused her to make such a statement.
Hemant Karkare, who headed the Mumbai anti-terror squad, had died in the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008. Addressing BJP workers in Bhopal, Thakur claimed Karkare died as she "cursed" him for "torturing" her in custody.
Karkare, an Ashoka Chakra awardee, had arrested Pragya Thakur and others in the case, alleging they were part of a Hindu extremist group which carried out the blast. She is the prime accused for the blast, in which six persons had died and over 100 were injured.
She said she cursed Karkare for the alleged threats, torture and miserable treatment in custody. “Maine kaha that tera sarvanash hoga (I cursed him that he would be finished),” she said.
Referring to sutak, an auspicious period of one month and a half according to Hindu tradition which starts after death or birth of anyone in family, she said that the holy period started on the day she landed in jail and ended the day Karkare was slain by terrorists.
“Inauspicious period started for Hemant Karkare when I was arrested. Exactly 45 days later he was killed and that was the end of the inauspicious period,” she said.
The statement invited a sharp reaction from the Congress, which said that it was proof of the BJP’s “anti-national face”. The Election Commission has also ordered a probe.
The IPS officers association has also slammed the BJP candidate for the remark. It said in a twee, “Ashok Chakra awardee late Sri Hemant Karkare, IPS made the supreme sacrifice fighting terrorists. Those of us in uniform condemn the insulting statement made by a candidate and demand that sacrifices of all our martyrs be respected.”
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