Lok Sabha elections 2019: Hemant Karkare’s junior files papers to take on Pragya from Bhopal
A retired assistant commissioner of police, Riyazuddin Ghayasuddin Deshmukh (60), who worked as a subordinate of Mumbai former Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare has filed his nomination for the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat.
Aurangabad-based Deshmukh told reporters that he decided to contest after Pragya Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon serial blasts in 2008, said last week that Karkare — who was killed in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008 — died because of his ‘karma’ (fate). She said that she had cursed him a month before his death.
“I had worked as a sub-inspector under Karkare when he was the Akola superintendent of police. He was my boss. He was brave, co-operative, encouraging and a gem of a person. I respected him immensely,” Deshmukh told PTI on Thursday, adding, “Seconds after she called Karkare sahab anti-national, I decided to contest the election against her.”
Thakur, the BJP candidate from Bhopal, received a EC notice for her remarks. The Indian Police Service Association wrote a tweet that condemned her statement on the Ashoka Chakra gallantry award winner. Congress’s Sanjay Jha and Aam Admi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal called her comments “disgraceful”. But PM Narendra Modi expressed support of her candidature. Thakur later rescinded her comment, but alleged that Karkare had tortured her while she was in prison awaiting trial.
On Deshmukh’s candidature, BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said, “It is a democracy, anyone is free to contest” .