Bhopal: Senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary Indresh Kumar on Wednesday said although tributes can be paid to Hemant Karkare, the former chief of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) cannot be respected. Karkare had died in action during the 26/11 terror attacks.
Stating that the Congress-led government had used the "uniform" to inflict torture on Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Thakur even though her crime was yet to be proved, Kumar said, “It was improper and they shouldn’t have done that.”“Aatanki hamle me maare gaye Hemant Karkare ko shraddhanjali di ja sakti hai, par unka aadar nahin kiya ja sakta (One can pay tributes to Hemant Karkare who died in a terrorist attack, but he cannot be respected).” “Balidan ka samman hai, lekin Karkare ke atyachar ko ankit karna bhi jaruri hai (Sacrifice is respected, but Karkare’s excesses should also be pointed out),” added the the RSS national executive member. “We all must acknowledge the fact that she (Pragya Thakur) exhibited humanity and amended her statement (on Karkare) after there was furore over her remarks.”
In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in April-May, Thakur had claimed that Karkare had inflicted unimaginable torture on her when she was in his custody and he had died in the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai due to her curse.
Thakur said she had cursed Karkare for the alleged threats, torture and miserable treatment in custody. “Maine kaha that era sarvanash hoga (I cursed him that he would be finished),” she had recounted. After her remarks led to a nationwide outrage, she had retracted the statement and issued an apology. She was also issued a notice by the Election Commission.
Kumar also lauded the Bhopal MP for correcting her statement after realising her mistake (remarks on Karkare).
“But you people (media) kept on stretching the issue and continued to hurl sharp questions at her. I want to say that after she corrected her statement, you too should have been considerate,” he said, wondering if there was an agenda behind the media’s role in the episode.
The Maharashtra ATS had arrested Thakur and several others in the case of the Malegaon bomb blasts, alleging they were part of a Hindu extremist group which carried out the explosion. She is the prime accused in the case and as it was her bike that was used to fit the explosive. She is currently out on bail and is facing terrorism charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
The Opposition parties as well as a number of officers had criticised Thakur's remarks as "despicable and regrettable".