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FIR against Pragya for Babri remarks; Shah defends pick

The poll watchdog is yet to take a decision on Thakur for the remarks on Karkare, though, in her reply to the election commission notice, she said she did not violate the model code of conduct.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 23, 2019 08:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan times, Bhopal
FIR,Pragya,Babri
Congress spokesperson JP Dhanopia said, “We welcome the decision [FIR], but another FIR should be registered against her for insulting the martyr, former Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare.”(HT Photo)

The action against Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast who is currently out on bail, was taken on the directions of the state election commission, which sent her two notices — one for her remarks on the Babri mosque and the other for saying her “curse” killed Hemant Karkare, a decorated police officer who was shot dead by terrorists during the Mumbai attacks in November 2008.

Thakur, 48, who filed her nomination for the Madhya Pradesh seat on Monday, did not comment on the police action. “I am busy with campaigning and my legal team is looking into the matter,” she said. Bhopal district election officer Sudam Khade said Thakur’s reply to the poll watchdog’s notice over remarks on the Babri Masjid was not satisfactory, and hence action was initiated against her.

In her reply, Thakur said on Monday, “I have not given any statement to create any tension among any caste, religion, community and linguistic group or hurt communal sentiments. But my statement expressed my inner voice.”

Thakur kicked up a row after she said in a TV interview that “we will build the Ram temBJP ple...We had gone there to demolish the structure. I climbed up the structure to raze it and I feel proud of this. God had given us strength and we removed a scar on the face of country”.

Congress spokesperson JP Dhanopia said, “We welcome the decision [FIR], but another FIR should be registered against her for insulting the martyr, former Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare.”

Addressing BJP workers on Friday, Thakur said Karkare died because she “cursed” him for “torturing” her when he probed the Malegaon blast case as chief of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in north Maharashtra’s Malegaon on September 29, 2008.

The poll watchdog is yet to take a decision on Thakur for the remarks on Karkare, though, in her reply to the election commission notice, she said she did not violate the model code of conduct.

Campaigning in West Bengal, president Amit Shah defended Thakur’s candidature in the wake of the uproar. He said she was falsely implicated in the Malegaon case and slammed those who set free the “real accused”.

“In the question regarding Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a false case was made up in the name of Hindu terror, or saffron terror. It was an attempt to malign the culture of India before the world,” Shah told a press meet.

Separately, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati termed Thakur a “gem” of the BJP and demanded the cancellation of her nomination.

“The real face of the BJP and the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] has been exposed during the general elections. Instead of taking action against Sadhvi Pragya, the Election Commission is merely issuing her notices,” Mayawati said in a press release, hours before the FIR was registered against Thakur.

First Published: Apr 23, 2019 08:25 IST

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