The affidavit of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, arrested in the Malegaon blast case, was quickly put up on the BJP website, blurring the party’s earlier bid to keep a distance from those accused of “Hindu terrorism”.
The BJP’s media cell, which manages the website, acted within minutes after LK Advani came out in her defence and demanded a judicial inquiry to probe the charge of torture made by the sadhvi.
The hosting of her affidavit was seen as a complete U-turn and joining hands with the accused in the Malegaon case when only three weeks ago BJP leaders had responded to the media queries with a counter poser. “sadhvi, who?”
Defending the BJP’s support for her, party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “We are only speaking about the torture and ill-treatment of the sadhvi and not about Abhinav Bharat (a body that is facing the ATS probe).
Prasad asked, “Why human rights organisations are keeping quiet on her condition? Is it because she is a Hindu sadhvi and not belonging to any minority community?”
In her affidavit, which was vetted by senior lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani and filed in a Nashik court on Monday, she alleged she was physically and verbally abused and traumatised to the extent that she wanted to commit suicide.
She charged she was manhandled by all male team and no woman constable was present when she was quizzed or when she treated in two hospitals for the injuries she suffered under ATS detention in Mumbai.
She also demanded that ATS officers, who questioned and allegedly beat her in custody, be subjected to narco analysis and polygraph tests to establish the truth. The ATS, however, has denied the allegations.