If Hemant Karkare’s Role as Police Officer Was ‘Not Correct’, We Will Say So: Sumitra Mahajan
Sumitra Mahajan’s statement comes amid controversy over BJP candidate and Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Singh Thakur’s comments about Hemant Karkare.
Bhopal: BJP candidate for Bhopal constituency Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur meets Lok Sabha Speaker and BJP leader Sumitra Mahajan ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, at BJP headquarters in Bhopal, Tuesday, April 30, 2019. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: Days after the BJP distanced itself from Pragya Thakur’s remarks against late ATS chief Hemant Karkare, party MP from Indore and outgoing speaker, Sumitra Mahajan, said that Karkare’s role as a police officer should be called out if it was "not correct".
Mahajan, in an interaction with The Indian Express, said that the police records of Karkare, who lost his life in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, was not beyond scrutiny. “He became a martyr because he died in the line of duty, but if his role as a police officer was not correct, we will say it was not correct,’’ Mahajan said.
Thakur, BJP’s candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat and an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, had earlier said that Karkare died because she had “cursed him” over her alleged custodial torture. Drawing flak from all quarters, Thakur later withdrew her comments and the BJP also distanced itself from the controversy by issuing a statement that said it considered Karkare a martyr.
Mahajan also claimed that she had heard Karkare and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh were close and that the ATS chief had made arrests at the behest of Singh. In response to Mahajan’s claim, Singh said he was proud that Mahajan associated his name with Karkare. “Sumitra Tai, I am proud that you associate me with Ashok Chakra winner and martyr Hemant Karkare. Your friends might insult him, but I am proud that I have always sided with those who talk of national interest, unity and integrity,” Singh tweeted.
Karkare had arrested 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.
Earlier this month, Thakur 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 had said.
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